'Signathon' from world record holder to raise support for deaf ministry

A priest in one of our churches is looking to raise money and awareness for the deaf community with 13 hours of signing the Old Testament. 
The Revd Michael Sabell, a retired vicar who has been helping in the parish of Dacre with Hartwith & Darley with Thornthwaite, is doing a ‘signathon’ to raise deaf awareness and funds for a Sign Language translation of the Bible.  
Revd Michael was born severely deaf, and holds a world record for non-stop signing after signing for 12 hours straight in 1987.
However, age will not permit that kind of marathon anymore, so Revd Michael aims to do an hour every day for 13 days – reading from the Old Testament, to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face, and help raise funds for the BSL Bible Translation Project.  
The project aims to produce the first real translation of the Bible from the Greek and Hebrew texts to BSL using Deaf presenters, Bible scholars and translation experts, to provide a video-based Bible in sign language for Deaf people have independent access to scripture.
The Revd Alastair Ferneley, Vicar of Dacre with Hartwith & Darley with Thornthwaite, said: “I think it’s wonderful, and perhaps a move of the Holy Spirit, that Michael still feels fired up enough about this issue to want to do again what he did many years ago, to raise funds and awareness to support the Deaf Community.
“With his deafness and hesitant speech he has faced challenges many of us can only dimly understand, and yet he has done his best to serve Christ – sometimes ministering to the Deaf Community, sometimes in regular parish ministry.
“Unless you’re part of the Deaf Community you might not realize that there are a whole group of people, in our own country, in that community, who do not have a translation of the Bible in their first language.  
“Revd Michael’s efforts hope to raise awareness of deaf issues and funds for the BSL Bible translation project.”
Revd Michael’s efforts will begin on Sunday September 13, and if you would like to support him please contact Revd Alastair at irreverend [at] btinternet.com

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