This is basic information about services for people with special needs, whether hearing-impairment or disability. For spiritual care provided for those in hospitals or nursing homes, please consult the Chaplains section. Churches with a loop system for the hard of hearing, and access for the disabled, have this information given in their entries in our Church Finder.
Priest with responsibility for those with special needs:
Rev Canon Kevin O'Driscoll, 226 Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Slough SL3 7UD
Tel: 01753 543770
Deaf and Hearing Impaired Pastoral Service
The work of this Service has been absorbed in that of the Thomas Becket Foundation.
Chaplain: Rev Gerard Byrne, St Brendan's Catholic Church, 151 Beanfield Avenue, Corby NN18 0AZ.
Telephone: 01536 202879
The Pastoral Service helps hearing impaired people to share fully in the life of the Church. This is promoted with the help volunteer groups throughout the Diocese.
Masses in Sign Language and Spoken Word are held regularly; meetings, pilgrimages, retreats and social events are organised and catechists are provided for deaf children.
/www.catholicblindservices.com/ is a website full of resources for the blind/ visually impaired and those ministering to them.
Bishop's Hospital Advisor:
Avril Baigent, Office for Lay Ministry, Damien House, 23 High Street, Great Missende HP16 9AA. Tel: 07823 788310. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic Handicapped Children's Fellowship
The CHCF in Luton gives support to people with disabilities and their families in the town. Each month they organise a special Mass which is always a joyful, comfortable experience. Parishes in Luton take in turns to host the Mass and provide refreshments afterwards.
Their holiday chalet in Hemsby, Norfolk, gives families who care for somebody with a disability an opportunity to have a holiday in a place where they do not feel uncomfortable or "stared at". There is no charge for the use of the chalet, but families often make a donation. The chalet is available to anybody in the Diocese (not just Luton) and is given out on a first come/first served basis
Chairman: Judith Beare, 24 Bunyans Close, Luton, LU3 2PXF
Tel: 01582 571943
Vice Chairman: Mrs Kathy Scott, 4 Cotswold Gardens, Sundon Park, Luton LU3 3EG
Tel: 01582 574051
Secretary: Andrea Leather, 34 Mendip Way, Sundon Park, Luton, Beds Lu3 3JL
Tel: 01582 503533
Treasurer: Mr Ted Leather, as above
Booking Officer for Hemsby Chalet: Mrs Kathy Scott, as above.
St Thomas A Becket Foundation
The Foundation is a separate charity working within, and supported by, the Diocese, to make a positive difference in the lives of disabled people. Contact via Canon Kevin O'Driscoll at Holy Family, Slough.
Click here for information about the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.