Insight into lost sight
Most of us take our sight for granted. It is integral to every action we take, all day, every day. But there are people within our churches and community whose sight is limited or even non-existent. It is hard for most of us to imagine what life must be like for them. Two recent workshops, under the auspices of Churches Together in Harborough and held at both Harborough Baptist Church and St Dionysius Church, aimed to change this.
Led by Becky Davies, Acting Sight Loss Friendly Church Manager at the Harborough-based Torch Trust, the sessions raised awareness of sight loss, and helped participants to understand how sight loss can impact on church life and how churches can be more sight loss friendly.
“We started with a quiz about sight loss statistics in the UK,” says Becky. “We then watched a video from RNIB looking at different types of sight loss and tried on Sim Specs that gave us a small insight into different types of sight loss. We tried some practical exercises including moving around the church building and finding the correct amount of money from a tray of loose change.”
Trying to feel what sight loss is like at the St Dionysius workshop.
This provoked discussion about the impact sight loss has on people at different stages of life, and how it can affect their involvement in church life. How do they find the coffee? Who can they talk to in a milling crowd? The sessions ended with small groups considering aspects of a Sunday morning at our churches and fed back ideas that we could implement in our own churches.
“We concluded with three key things to remember,” says Becky. “Think about people with sight loss and be aware of them in our congregations whenever we are planning services and events. Ask how we can make things better for people with sight loss in our churches. And Act with kindness and consideration to make changes and use the resources available from Torch so that everyone can be included.”