Signing choir debuts at Remembrance service

One of the newest choirs in the Diocese of Derby has been practising hard for a Remembrance Sunday performance – the group’s first public outing.

Signs from the Peaks started when Buxton Team Rector Liz England got together with a group of other people who were keen to start a signing choir.

Liz has a Level 1 in British Sign Language (BSL). She joined forces with Steph Bennett, a BSL teacher, Elaine Hill, who works with the deaf community, and Liv Lazarus, also BSL qualified, to form Signs from the Peaks – a now 20-strong ensemble.

And after around six weeks of rehearsing, Liz decided to invite the choir to perform at the church’s Remembrance service.

That in itself is a milestone for some of the choristers who have never before attended a church service.

Liz said: “I love the inclusivity of it. Not only do we have people who use sign language regularly, but also members of the community who have never signed before.

“The choir is open to anyone, whether they have experience in signing or not.

“The aim of this amazing choir is to get people involved who are passionate about being creative and like a bit of tea and biscuits too!

“And one of our founding members, Ana Mankiewicz, runs Grapevine Wellbeing Centre, a mental health charity in Buxton - so she invites people who feel isolated to join in. This is a win-win for all concerned.”

Signs from the Peaks meets on Tuesday evenings at 6pm at St Mary’s Church, Dale Road, Buxton.

See them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/704810786658751/ or contact Liz England on 01298 212667.

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