20 June 2003
The Rt Rev Jack Nicholls, Bishop of Sheffield, is to be the new Chairman of the Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled People (CMDDP), succeeding the Rt Rev John Perry, former Bishop of Chelmsford. He has taken a keen interest in ministry of and among deaf and disabled people since moving to Sheffield, supporting sign language training in the Diocese and forming a link with a school for deaf children in Gaza.
As Bishop of Lancaster, he was a strong supporter of this ministry, visiting social clubs for deaf people and attending services for deaf people whenever possible. His wife, Judith, has had sign language training and was part of the Deaf Chaplaincy support group in Blackburn Diocese.
Bishop Jack said, 'I am delighted to be asked to be part of a ministry to which I am already committed. I believe that how the Church and society treats those with disabilities is one of the acid tests of its Gospel centredness.'
CMDDP is a committee of the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, responsible for supporting and enhancing the ministry of deaf and disabled people within the Church. This involves training deaf and hearing people as Chaplains and in other ministries in the Dioceses. The Committee also seeks to ensure that deaf and disabled people are represented at every level within the Synods and Councils of the Church. The CMDDP also offers support and advice to Dioceses and individuals concerning the ministry of and among deaf and disabled people.