Carols get new signs

INCENSE, holy oil – and using sign language to sing carols – were used to evoke the spirit of Christmas in a unique service.A group of children from Ipswich's Thomas Wolsey School, which caters for children with disabilities, took part in a special carol service at St Mary and St Botolph's Church, Whitton Church Lane.

INCENSE, holy oil – and using sign language to sing carols – were used to evoke the spirit of Christmas in a unique service.

A group of children from Ipswich's Thomas Wolsey School, which caters for children with disabilities, took part in a special carol service at St Mary and St Botolph's Church, Whitton Church Lane.

The Rev Andrew Dotchin, vicar at the Whitton church, said: "The children sang carols, several of them using sign language.

"I explained the meanings behind the gifts of the three kings at Bethlehem. By using incense and holy oil, we could talk about frankincense and myrrh and there were many golden things to point out in the church.


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"Sadly we could not give any of that away but each child went away holding a gold chocolate coin to remind them how precious the gift of a child is."

A group of 25 children aged from nine to 14, including the signing choir, went on the visit on December 7.

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As well as singing and signing songs, the children also had a chance to ring the church bell and to try out the organ.

Matthew Brakenbury, deputy headteacher at the Old Norwich Road school, said how special the carol service was.

He said: "It was a one-off event. The idea was to introduce the children to our local church. We do carol services in school but a lot of our kids have never been to a church before.

"The children who could sing did and some of the other children were signing.

"There was incense and holy oil. The church was decorated for Christmas and the candles were lit. It was quite a sensory experience which is great for our kids."

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