Signs in Worship

St Clements Signs In Worship Group (SCSW) was established in 2015 in an attempt to provide a uniform platform for using signs and gestures in worship, particularly for contemporary church music introduced by the musicians of the Worship Band led by Colin Crabb, who lead the family services here twice a month.

Jesus be the Centre performed by St Clements Signs in Worship Group

The group currently has 7 members led by George Raggett, a Trustee of Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association (WDDA), who has been teaching British Sign Language for 18 years and was encouraged to introduce signing in worship by Stuart Dimes, a curate at the time and also a BSL student of George’s back in 2002.

However it was only when WDDA established their signing choir, Significance in 2010 with Isobel Heaton, Evelyn Riggs and George from St Clements as founder members, that signing in worship became a regular occurrence for special services at Christmas and Summer Concerts in aid of Romanian Orphanages attending holiday camps at the House of Grace.

Significance have been competing at the annual Jersey Eisteddfod of Performing Arts since 2012 where Sign Choirs from around the UK are invited to perform 2 contrasting pieces.  Inspired by some of the contemporary church music introduced by the worship band at St Clements, the choir always included one in their performance.  In 2015 they performed a firm favourite at St Clements, “10,000 Reasons”, by Matt Readman and were thrilled to be judged overall winners of the Sign Choir section.  They have since gone from strength to strength and were winners again in 2017.

St Clements Signs in Worship group FB Page

The SCSW group has 4 members who are hard of hearing and are joined for practices by supporters who attend other local churches where signing is also used.  Though St Clements is not regularly visited by profoundly deaf people who use BSL as their first language, preferring instead to worship at their own churches, they do come for the special services.  The clergy, Worship Band and congregation at St Clements are very supportive of the extra dimension the group brings to worship and all are encouraged to join in.  We love signing songs together, using everything but our voice to express ourselves and glorify God and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

During the enforced closure of St Clements due to the Social Distancing measures introduced to combat the spread of Coronavirus, the group have been meeting up once a week on Tuesday morning using online video links to sign songs to share via social media, read scripture and pray for the needs of the world.  We would welcome anyone interested, to join us at any time, now or in the future – you do not need to have previous experience of signing.  Founder member Jan Clark and Sally Pierce both joined when they first began learning Sign Language and quickly made huge contributions to both SCSW and Significance choirs, just as our two newest recruits, Michelle Merrell and Roland Newborn are doing since they joined.  So come on…..

‘Raise your hands all you nations, sign to God the whole creation, how awesome is the Lord most high!’   

‘Family Fun Day’ brings BSL to Boscombe Chine Gardens!

Sunday 23 June 2019 saw WDDA tutors, trustees and supporters take our ‘Sign for Change’ campaign out in to the community as we hosted our second family fun day in Boscombe Chine Gardens.   The aim of the event was to help bring hearing and Deaf children and families together and to help breakdown some of the barriers to communication by introducing families to BSL and I think it’s safe to say that we did just that!  Our very own award winning Signature Sign Choir took centre stage performing a repertoire of songs, entertaining the crowds and engaging passers by and members of our Junior Sign Choir made a real impact with their first ever public performance.  We had face painting, arts and crafts, a bric a brac stall, a Teddy Tombola, a fabulously entertaining magic show performed by local magician Andy Walker and a whole lot of cake (thank you to those who kindly donated homemade cakes on the day).

We are currently fundraising to support our work teaching Deaf parents of young pupils to deliver to Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset.  Thanks to all who joined us on Sunday and kindly donated, helping us to raise £184.11  Our target is £5,000 – over the course of the past 12 months we have raised a whopping £2,976.26 with grants from AFCB Cherries Community Fund & South West Foundation,  donations from Asda Green Token Charity Scheme, BH Coastal Lottery and PayPal Giving Fund and through our own fundraising events and the generosity of our supporters.  THANK YOU!

Thank you to: Signature Sign Choir, WDDA Junior Sign Choir, Andy the Magician,  Kate from Rainbow Face Painting and Body Art, Bournemouth Deaf Club, Friends of Boscombe Chine Gardens and all the WDDA trustees, tutors and supporters for donating their time and energy to support the event and an extra special thank you to all the children and families who came together to make the event such a success.

 

Festive Fun and Filming!

A big THANK YOU to Mark from The Magical Storybox, Stef from Interpreters Dorset, Significance Sign Choir and Glen from Rainbow Arts Dorset CIC for so generously donating their time and services for our Family Friendly Festive Fundraiser that took place at Bournemouth Deaf Club on Saturday 15 December 2018.  Our BSL interpreted magic show went down a treat with children and adults alike and the little ones loved the Christmassy glitter  tattoos!

Click on the link below to see the lovely film produced by BBC South Today of our families performing a a beautiful version of Silent Night with our award winning sign choir Significance at the event.  This film has now had over 11k views on Facebook!

BBC South – Silent Night

We’d love to hold more family friendly events for d/Deaf and hearing children and families in 2019 but can only do it with your support.  Thanks again to everyone who joined us, it was so lovely to meet you all.

Join WDDA for some Festive Fun on Saturday 15th December 2018!

Join us at Bournemouth Deaf Club on Saturday 15th December 2018 for a very special BSL interpreted performance from the fabulous Mark Stickland, The Magical Storybox!

We will also have face painting* and glitter tattoos* with the fantastic Rainbow Arts Dorset CIC, and a festive ‘Sign-a-Long’ with our award winning sign choir, Significance.

We’re aiming to bring hearing and Deaf families and children together to help breakdown some of the barriers to communication and what better way to introduce families to BSL than to learn a festive song and simple signs, and perform the song TOGETHER!

You’ll have lots of fun while helping Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association to raise money to support our work teaching Deaf parents of young pupils to deliver Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset.

Whilst the Magic Show is free to attend donations are very welcome. Minimum suggested donation: £3 per family.

Thank you to Interpreters Dorset for generously donating their time and resources to support this event.

Please note: BBC South Today will be filming at this event.

WDDA Registered Charity Number: 1103335

Join us for a ‘Sign-a-Long’ in Boscombe Chine Gardens!

The Alternate Routes – ‘Nothing More’ signed by George Raggett

Fancy joining our award winning Signing Choir ‘Significance’ for a ‘Sign-a-Long’ on Sunday 22 July?

We’re aiming to bring the community together to help breakdown some of the barriers to communication and what better way to introduce families to BSL than to learn a song and simple signs, and perform along with the song TOGETHER!  You’ll have lots of fun while helping Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association to raise money to support our work teaching Deaf parents of young pupils to deliver Deaf Awareness & Communication training to local Nursery and Primary Schools in Dorset.

The song we have chosen is ‘Nothing More’ by The Alternate Routes.  To give you a taster, and a chance to have a go at learning to ‘Sign-a-Long’, our very talented Tutor and Trustee George has kindly filmed this video for you.  Let us know how you get on, even better – why not post a video clip of you signing to music on our Facebook event page and help encourage others to join us for the big ‘Sign-a-Long’ in Boscombe Chine Gardens on Sunday 22 July! https://www.facebook.com/events/431754227270904/

“we are how we treat each other, and nothing more.”

Congratulations to Significance Sign Choir!

Huge congratulations to Significance Sign Choir who came 3rd Place in the second National Signing Choir competition 2018 that took place on Saturday 19th May 2018 at Medway Park in Gillingham, Kent.

Wondering what a sign choir actually involves?

They are choirs that perform like any other choir but rather than sing with their voices, they sing with their hands in British Sign Language, while telling a visual story behind the song they are “Singing”.  Singers express the song through the pitch, tone and emotion of their voices, Signing Song performers do the same with their hands, body and facial expressions, it is a visual spectacular for the senses.

Want to find out more?

Significance Sign Choir is part of WDDA and practice at Bournemouth Deaf Club.

You can follow Significance Sign Choir on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SignifianceSignChoir/

Jersey Eisteddfod of Performing Arts – November 2017

Many thanks for all your messages of support for our participation in the Jersey Eisteddfod of Performing Arts this weekend!

Well, the Billy Dorkin’s best Choir Trophy has been prised from our grasp by Vision Signing Choir, deservedly beating us into 2nd place by 1 mark. They are a particularly inclusive choir , so many congratulations to them and their leaders!

We are justifiably proud of again achieving a performance of Distinction in this section, so cannot be too disappointed!

We were inspired by Stef Davis and Liz Linard who won the afternoon ensemble section with a Commended performance against 6 other excellent performances including our own Isobel Heaton, Louise Allen and Jan Clark who achieved a Merit for an innovative and well coordinated performance of Born To Love You, complete with dark glasses and leather jackets!

This was followed by an awe inspiring, tear jerking solo performance by Stef Davis, just missing out on an award of Outstanding, again by one mark, but well ahead of the rest of the field of 8 including George Raggett who still managed a performance of Merit.

So all in all a great weekend that will inspire and motivate us to maintain and improve our standards as we try and bring signed performances to the attention of yet more audiences in this coming year.

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