In the Church of England the work of the Chaplains among deaf people is pretty much the same as that of parish priests, the difference being that the Chaplains are there specifically for deaf and hard of hearing people and they work over a much wider area.
The Chaplains are trained in the use of Sign Language and are aware of the culture and needs of deaf and hard of hearing people. In the Diocese of Oxford we are very fortunate in having Chaplains, Lay Ministers and local clergy who are available to support deaf and hard of hearing people, and to remind hearing people in local hearing churches of their existence and their gifts as well as their needs.
The Chaplains are there to offer worship using appropriate communication such as Sign Language and technology such as loop systems, and to encourage congregations in their life and work.
We take services in deaf centres, churches and community centres. We are willing to respond to any pastoral need, to offer advice and show support in times of need, for example when deaf people are in hospital. Or we can refer people on to one of our volunteers or other agencies when appropriate.
The Chaplains are available to take Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, to interpret for deaf people when necessary, altogether to do what we can to support Christian people who happen to be deaf or hard of hearing.
Lead Chaplain - Vacancy
Assistant Chaplain - Revd. Ben Whitaker
I have been a part time Chaplain with deaf and hard of hearing people in the Diocese of Oxford since 2000. Since I was first Ordained I have been a parish priest in Grimsby and then in Abingdon, and I then trained as a Chaplain with Deaf people in Dorset. I feel very fortunate in working with some very fine, hardworking priests and lay, deaf and hearing people in Oxford Diocese. I lead worship particularly in Oxford and at Cox Green.
The Revd. Ben Whitaker
87 Bagley Wood Road
Oxford OX1 5LY
Tel/fax: 01865 736100
Honorary Chaplain - Revd. Vera Hunt MBE
The Revd. Vera Hunt MBE
Fax/Minicom: 01628 623909
Or via Text Direct : 18002 01628 623909 (for hearing
people without a minicom)