Thursday, 24 December 2020

Amen to that


   Who would true signing see,

Let him come hither;

BSL will our constant be,

Come wind, come weather

There's no discouragement

Shall make the BDA relent

It's first avowed intent

To worship Paddy.

Who so beset us round

With signed English stories

Do but themselves confound;

BSL the more is.

No orals can us fright,

We'll sign with giants might,

We will demand a right

To be a culture.

Lip reading nor foul fiend

Can daunt our spirit,

We know we at the end

Shall sign inherit.

When fancies fly away,

We'll care not what they say,

We'll labour night and day

To be a signer.

Today's Songs Of Praise comes today from the pretty little church of St Dug on the Mount in Looky likely, near Yorkshire, which is celebrating it's centenary this year.  The congregation is made up of over 16 deaf club memberships from in and around the North of England and random learners dragged in off the street.  We are gathered here today not only to celebrate the centenary 30 years early, but to pay homage to our patron saint St Dug, who lived in nearby Alrek-on-the Marsh, and after whom the church is named, who was himself deaf, he certainly wasn't able to listen much.

The service today is led by Bishop Meldrew.

"Good evening to you..... I'm going  to start by telling you the same thing Elizabeth  Taylor told all her husbands, and that is - I won't keep you long!''.  let us thank the Lord whoever he may be to you, for being here today, my sermon text for this  year concerns humour and how it helps us all to reflect, that life isn't all misery, boring relations, endless helpings of Brussel sprouts, and being so out of spirit, you consider Eastenders the highlight of the TV Xmas day viewing, and a few horrific deaths the icing on the cake.   Was it not our very own St Dug who said "Eeeh but owt tis nowt..."  

Consider for instance,  When my daughter was about three I put her to bed and asked what she would like  to  pray about.  Promptly she answered: "onions."  We prayed about onions and the next morning I asked why she wanted to pray about onions.  "Because you said in your sermon that we should pray for things we dont like, I don't like bananas either....", it is the simplicity of the child that makes for innocence lost.

Once  I was invited to preach at a day centre for a Christmas Service as a young layman starting out in the world.  Seeing that it was very crowded and sensitive to the time issue, I asked the proprietor, 'How long do I have for the sermon?". He replied, You can preach for about an hour".   I was wondering how I could stretch my meagre manuscript, I soon found out that I was not the only preacher, and the preacher before me also preached for an hour. How long should a good sermon be?  It should be like a woman's skirt, long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to keep you interested. 

From children comes real enlightenment, one asked me, father,  how long is a million years to God?  I replied "it is but a second to God", "How much is a million pounds to God ?", I replied "it is but a penny to him...", the boy then asked, "can I  have a penny ?", I replied " Of course,  just a second....".  

I have first good news and then the bad news. The good news is we now have enough money to retire the mortgage on the church, and repair the stained glass window at last,"The bad news is the money is still in your pocket."

I recall last year I was called away for an emergency. Not wanting to leave the confessional unattended, I called this rabbi friend from across the street and asked him to cover for me. He told me he wouldn't know what to say, but I told him to come on over and I'd stay with him for a little bit and show him what to do.  My rabbi friend comes, and he and the I are in the confessional.  A few minutes, a woman comes in and says, 'Father, forgive me for I have sinned.' so I ask, 'What did you do?' The woman says, 'I committed adultery.' so I said, 'How many times?'  And the woman replies, 'Three.'  'Say two Hail Mary’s, put £5 in the box, and go and sin no more.'

A few minutes later a man enters the confessional. He says, 'Father forgive me for I have sinned.' So again I asked 'What did you do?' ‘I committed adultery.' 'How many times?' 'Three times.'  So I said, 'Say two Hail Mary’s, put £5 in the box and go and sin no more.' My rabbi friend tells me OK, I think I've got it,  so I leave him to it.  A few minutes later another woman enters and says, 'Father, forgive me for I have sinned.' The rabbi says, 'What did you  do?' The woman replies, 'I committed adultery.'  The rabbi, getting it off pat, says, 'How many times?' The woman replies,  'Once.' The rabbi said, 'Go and do it two more times, We have a special this week, three for £5.'

A ray of hope flickers in the sky 

A tiny star lights up way up high 

All across the land, dawns a brand new morn 

This comes to pass when a child is born 

Silent wish sails the seven seas 

The winds of change whisper in the trees 

And the walls of doubt crumble, tossed and torn 

This comes to pass when a child is born 

A rosy hue settles all around 

You've got the feel you're on solid ground 

For a spell or two, no-one seems forlorn 

This comes to pass when a child is born 

And all of this happens because the world is waiting 

Waiting for one child 

Black, white, yellow, no-one knows 

But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter 

Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone's neighbour 

And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten, forever 

It's all a dream, an illusion now 

It must come true, sometime soon somehow 

All across the land, dawns a brand new morn 

This comes to pass when a child is born

We thank thee lord, for the signs we use, the clubs we attend, the miracle of digital aids, our culture, and for the gift of having a laff no matter how often the BDA tries to spoil it all for us... we also pray for the hearing aid battery makers, that they develop a really long-lasting one...  Paddy Ladd finds out finally, where the barbershop is located and before he trips over himself.  That Deaf activism discovers their own front door, so they can discover things happen outside as well.  We also earnestly pray that God learns to sign properly and stops trying to cure us all...


Scientists develop new gene therapy for deafness.


A new study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) presents an innovative treatment for deafness, based on the delivery of genetic material into the cells of the inner ear. The genetic material "replaces" the genetic defect and enables the cells to continue functioning normally.

The scientists were able to prevent the gradual deterioration of hearing in mice that had a genetic mutation for deafness. They maintain that this novel therapy could lead to a breakthrough in treating children born with various mutations that eventually cause deafness.