In April 2016 Revd Roger Williams retired after completing twenty-five years of ordained ministry to the Oxford Diocesan Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

On 17 April a service was held to celebrate his ministry. It was an opportunity for colleagues and beneficiaries of his ministry to share in the advances and successes in those twenty-five years. Since his appointment in 1990 Roger has
launched the volunteer visiting service which has been invaluable in supporting isolated people in the deaf and hard of hearing community. He has made a considerable contribution to the advancement of communications in that time with letter writing and working closely with those who are isolated by their deafness. Roger organized and led services with signing all over the county and was instrumental in the introduction of the loop system in churches in the diocese; this work is ongoing but has been very successful in the majority of churches. There are still a few churches which would benefit from the loop system so the work goes on to make connections for the deaf community.

At the present time the ODCD are advertising for a full-time replacement to continue Roger’s amazing achievements. The Revd Ben Whitaker is working one day a week at present with the ODCD supporting the charity`s ministry in the
diocese. There is a real need for more volunteer visitors and anyone with signing and lip reading skills is most welcome to make enquiries and join in this worthwhile work. In the next few years there are plans to work with Deaf Direct and update the Deaf Centre in St Ebbes to serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. This will require considerable funds and dedication from all concerned but it will prove invaluable to those who suffer in a silent world. The contribution made by St Mary`s annual donation is highly valued and appreciated in enabling the charity to continue providing support to the deaf community. If anyone is interested the ODCD website has been recently improved and gives a real insight to their work.

Please go to www.odcd.org.uk

Cecily Kirtland