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Sight Loss Friendly Church

Posted: 12th March 2018 by Julia Hyde

Any church which wants to be more:

Aware of sight loss and the issues

Accessible for people with sight loss

Able to reach out to people with sight loss

Right now by reading this you are helping your church to become more friendly to those with sight loss.  Torch Trust wants to be able to share expertise, advice and guidance with as many churches as possible to increase the number of church communities which fully understand sight loss.  

Why is a Sight Loss Friendly Church so important?

To raise awareness

Some churches don’t recognise that sight loss is part of the lives of their congregation.

250 people across the UK start to lose their sight every day

Sight loss can be ‘invisible’.  Some people with sight loss may continue to behave as though they can read their hymn books and recognise faces. 

“I don’t want to make a fuss about my sight loss so I haven’t told anyone.”

Let’s keep talking about sight loss so that we are encouraging others to speak up about how they feel in church.

To develop understanding

“We just want to know how to help.”  “Everyone at my church is so kind, but I still feel left out.”

Simple changes can make a big difference to someone with sight loss.  Torch Trust would like to help church communities to develop their understanding of how sight loss affects church life and celebrate the growing network of Sight Loss Friendly Churches.

Torch has expertise and resources to advise and assist churches, as well as products and services for individuals with sight loss.

What shall I do? 

Initially register your interest by filling out our contact form.  We will then send you a welcome email, our latest copy of Torch News and information and advice on how to become more Sight Loss Friendly.

We are encouraging churches to make a commitment to becoming more Sight Loss Friendly by filling out our online declaration.

We agree to become a sight loss friendly church and commit ourselves to making our church more accessible for people with sight loss.

We commit ourselves to be aware of sight loss within our church and to reflect carefully on our services, programmes and resources in order to be more fully welcoming and inclusive of people with sight loss.

If your church leadership wants to commit to becoming more Sight Loss Friendly then we can feature your church on our website map as part of our Sight Loss Friendly Church Network - connecting churches that spontaneously welcome people with sight loss to join in and find community and belonging.  

Torch will then contact the named person to offer our services and discuss how best to support your church.  For example, your church might like to invite Torch to come and work with your church directly face-to-face or we can share information and guidance electronically or on the phone.  Some churches have requested specialist training and consultation, others have requested equipment or materials such as audio bibles.  Other churches have nominated individuals to have a particular focus on welcoming those with sight loss (we call these Sight Loss Champions) and Torch offers particular training and expertise to these champions.  

Torch is happy to advise and assist any church (or any individual in a church) to raise awareness and understanding of sight loss.  No commitment to becoming more sight loss friendly is too small.  Together we can ensure that everyone can enjoy church life.  

Click here to register your interest. Or call us on 01858 438260


Easter Resources and our free giveaway!

Posted: 7th February 2018 by Julia Hyde

Easter Resources and our free giveaway! Picture

We are delighted to offer Torch clients our free Easter giveaway!

This evangelistic booklet by William Taylor sums Easter up in three words, showing how the events of the first Good Friday and Easter Sunday are true, wonderful, and life-changing.

The companion to Christmas in Three Words, this is ideal for giving away over Easter at missions and evangelistic meetings, and to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.

Available free in braille, large print, and on audio CD. Ring Client Services on 01858 438260

Other resources for Lent and Easter :

The Love Unknown  (Free giveaway)

This free booklet is by Derek Bingham and is published by TBF & KL Thompson Trust. It’s not actually a Lent or Easter book, but you may have noticed that Ash Wednesday and St Valentine’s are on the same day this year. The Love Unknown speaks of the greatest love of all – the love of Jesus, who sacrificed himself for us.

Available free on Audio CD, lare print or braille.

The Glory of the Cross (Reflections for Lent from the Gospel of John)

by Tim Chester (Good Book Company)

In many ways, Easter is supposed to be the high-point of the year for Christians, where we remember the three days that changed history for ever. But for many of us, the day quickly comes and goes without us really feeling any different. Yet for centuries Christians around the world have marked the season of Lent—the forty days leading up to Easter—as a way of reflecting on their need for forgiveness and anticipating Christ's work on the cross.

These daily readings present deep theology in a concise and understandable way, allowing you to soak up the real meaning of Christ's death and resurrection. Each week, you'll read through one or two chapters of John's Gospel. The Sunday reading provides an introduction to the passage as a whole, while the rest of the week's reflections work through it in smaller sections. A carefully selected prayer—drawn from the rich work of writers throughout church history—is included each day.

So this Lent, prepare your heart with 47 days of short and stirring reflections from the Gospel of John.

Available in braille and large print and on DAISY audio CD. Cost: £6.99. Ref. 8843. 

Songs of The Spirit (A Psalm a day for Lent and Easter)

by Megan Daffern (SPCK)

This sequence of beautiful translations and inspiring commentary provides daily nourishment for your Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday through to Easter.

The first week of Lent explores thoughts under the rubric `It's a hard world', inspired mainly by laments. Second, `It's an unjust world', thinks about confession, imaging God as divine judge, with God's righteousness setting right humankind. `It's a big world' challenges the commonplace `it's a small world!', looking to the greatness of God worshipped in psalms as Lord of all. `It's a beautiful world' ends this sequence: with Refreshment Sunday starting the week the tone gets lighter. Sorrow and joy are mixed together in daily life - as in the Psalms, and any spiritual journey. Passiontide begins: this week considers pilgrimage. We journey deeper towards the eternal God, recalling Jesus' own journey to Jerusalem. Holy Week uses the Jewish Passover sequence of Hallel Psalms, uniting the reader to liturgical traditions. Jesus lies in the tomb, the psalms stop: pause is the reflection. The final psalms of the Psalter appropriately close this collection, realistically mingling dark notes within the streams of joy. True worship and prayer connects throughout with Christ's own prayer traditions, rippling throughout Lenten, and lived, experience.

Available in braille and large print. Cost: £9.99. Ref. 8842. 

Say it to God (In Search of Prayer)

by Luigi Gioia (Bloomsbury) – The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2018

Luigi Gioia provides a welcome encouragement to all those who feel the need to freshen their practice of prayer. For Gioia, prayer is not about methods or techniques, but trusting that God is truly interested in everything that happens to us and wants to hear about it.

The book leads the reader into the theological aspects of prayer and how it relates to Christ, to the Holy Spirit and to the Church. This is done without using complex theological concepts but simply through scriptural quotations. Chapters are kept brief intentionally to make the book suitable for daily reading over the Lenten period.

With a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Say it to God demonstrates that the everyday, even the most mundane of tasks and situations, can be applied in deepening our practice of prayer

Available in braille and large print and on DAISY audio CD. Cost: £9.99. Ref. 8841. 

Feast + Fast (Food for Lent and Easter)

By Christian Rees (Darton Longman and Todd

As Lent approaches you may be wondering how best to mark it. Lent is traditionally a period of abstinence, so should you deny yourself little luxuries such as chocolate or alcohol? Or should you do something positive and, if so, what? How best can you nourish your body and soul through this special period in the year?

In this new and original book, Christina Rees takes us on a spiritual and culinary exploration of the Christian traditions around fasting and feasting in Lent and Easter. Christina examines the significance of our daily meals and includes recipes for quick but satisfying breakfasts, lunches and dinners through the forty days of Lent, as well ideas for an Easter feast to savour, rich in symbolism and style.

Full of spiritual wisdom as well as inspiring ideas for down to earth living, Feast + Fast offers simple and delicious nourishment to sustain you on your Lenten journey.

Christina Rees is a campaigner, broadcaster and writer, and an ex-lay member of General Synod.

Read by the author and available on DAISY audio CD. Cost: £8.99. Ref 8696. 

Please contact Client Services on 01858 438260 to order your copy.

Torch Holiday in Scarborough, April 2018

Posted: 18th January 2018 by Julia Hyde

Torch Holiday in Scarborough, April 2018 Picture

After 4 excellent years in Whitby, we are moving to Scarborough. Cober Hill is a well-equipped conference centre that was founded by the Rowntree family of chocolate fame. The 3-night holiday is specially geared for those with sight loss. Guide dogs welcome! Sighted helpers welcome too.

There will be the usual programme of trips, Bible teaching, fun and fellowship and a musical evening. The dates are Tuesday April 10th to Friday April 13th 2018. Details from David Judson (Leeds Torch) – or 0113-2166411

Daventry Torch celebrates 40 years

Posted: 15th November 2017 by James Brookman

Daventry Torch celebrates 40 years Picture

Daventry Torch Fellowship Group has been meeting regularly in the town for 40 years. On Saturday 16th September, 54 members and friends met together and shared a two course lunch to celebrate the anniversary. Clive and Pat Leakey were among those who set up the group in 1977 and they are still actively involved today.

The group meets on the third Saturday of each month at 2.30pm at Daventry Methodist Church. The meetings consist of a short act of worship, a speaker, quiz or guest singers, followed by afternoon tea and a time to talk. Free transport is provided for all.

The group welcomes new members and if you wish to know more phone Clive Leakey on 01327 340706.

Taste and see that the LORD is good!

Posted: 14th November 2017 by Julia Hyde

Taste and see that the LORD is good! Picture

Every day at 9.00am Torch staff and volunteers gather to praise God and pray for all aspects of Torch work. We follow the Torch scripture calendar for our starting point and each day a different person will lead chapel time in their own way. We always enjoy this time to focus our minds and hearts on God, sing and worship and most importantly share fellowship.

Today was no exception and Graham Moody (Production Leader) made breakfast for us all so that we could taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).  

The photo below shows Torch staff and volunteers singing together whilst sharing breakfast. 

Torch staff and volunteers singing together

Access All Areas

Posted: 18th August 2017 by Julia Hyde

Torch Trust is welcoming old friends and new at an open day on Saturday 16th September at Torch House, Market Harborough.  We are celebrating and giving thanks for a fabulous year and inviting people to come along and find out about what Torch offers for people with sight loss locally and nationally. 

Every day 100 people across the UK begin to lose their sight and only 17% of people are offered emotional support at the time of diagnosis. 

Torch Trust is a Christian response for those with sight loss and has a range of resources and services to offer Christian support and companionship. 

Please come along and join us at Torch House on Saturday 16th September; join our Thanksgiving Celebration at 2pm or come along later for refreshments and chance to meet the team.  

Work with Torch

Posted: 17th May 2017 by Grace Davis

Torch has a number of vacancies for staff and volunteers, could you join the journey? Read on to find out more about roles in Leicestershire, West Sussex and across the UK...

We're looking for a Cook at our Holiday & Retreat Centre in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex. This is a permanent position for an experienced and enthusiastic cook with a proven track record to deliver the highest standards and fresh food to our Holiday Centre guests. Our centre provides holidays and support for people with sight loss and a large proportion are elderly.

At our headquarters in Market Harborough, Leicestershire we are looking for a new person to join our Client Services team. An exciting customer-facing opportunity for someone looking for a full time paid position for Christian service. Contact is mostly with blind and partially sighted people, primarily by telephone and email. We are looking for a friendly, hospitable person who can learn and manage our computer systems to give information our clients are requesting, and/or offer encouragement and prayerful support where appropriate.

For more information on these vacancies and how to apply visit our jobs page here.

And if you'd like to volunteer with Torch, we have a great need for audio readers and editors. The roles require people who can read, record and edit books and publications as required by the Audio Transcription Coordinator. Subject to agreement, the work can be carried out at Torch premises or at home. To learn more and view our other volunteer vacancies visit our volunteers page here.

David Suchet Bible Recall

Posted: 9th March 2017 by James Brookman

It has come to our attention that some verses from the New Testament CD of our Daisy NIV Bible, voiced by David Suchet, are missing.

When it was first produced a computer was used to automatically split up David's Bible recording into its constituent verses but somehow 7 of the 8000 were by-passed. All of them are important but this one from 2 Corinthians 4:7 especially so:

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

Please contact us if you have one of these Daisy Bibles and we will replace it free of charge (the Megavoice version is unaffected). Although the above problems only affect the New Testament CD we did also find some minor issues with the Old Testament, like repeated verses, so all 4 CDs need replacing.

Getting Ready for Lent

Posted: 8th February 2017 by Grace Davis

Lent is fast approaching with Ash Wednesday being on 1st March this year and we have some wonderful resources to share with you, read on to find out more...

Receiving Christ in 5 ways (York course)

This course raises big questions. Aren’t we all children of God anyway? Just how can we receive Christ? And what does it mean to have ‘a relationship with God’?

In a course crammed with discussable questions, John Young teases out from the New Testament different ways in which we receive Christ. John’s course booklet is supplemented by four leading Christians, from a variety of backgrounds, on the course CD. Together they demonstrate that St John’s theology in his magisterial Gospel has very practical implications for our day-to-day lives. Available now in braille and large print. Price £3.59.

At the Cross by Abby Guinness

In this Cover to Cover Lent study guide we consider the experiences of six Bible characters who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus. Their stories and responses can help us find a fresh perspective on the death and resurrection of Jesus and the wider implications of what was achieved for individuals and all humanity. Discover a creative approach to exploring the Bible, with textual and historical insights alongside group discussion topics and personal application. Available now in braille and large print. Price £4.99.

Dethroning Mammon by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

In his first full-length book Justin Welby looks at the subject of money and materialism. Designed for study in the weeks of Lent leading up to Easter, Dethroning Mammon reflects on the impact of our own attitudes, and of the pressures that surround us, on how we handle the power of money, called Mammon in this book. Who will be on the throne of our lives? Who will direct our actions and attitudes? Is it Jesus Christ, who brings truth, hope and freedom? Or is it Mammon, so attractive, so clear, but leading us into paths that tangle, trip and deceive? Available now in braille, audio and large print, to purchase or borrow from the Torch library. Price £9.99.

More to Explore

At Torch we now have a good selection of titles, either covering the whole of Lent or the days of Holy Week and Easter itself. Just call us on 01858 438266 or email for inspiration. Visit our Literature pages to check out our entire catalogue or resources to borrow or buy.

Read all about it with Premier Christianity Lite

Posted: 4th January 2017 by Grace Davis

Torch is delighted to announce that from January 2017 we are introducing Premier Christianity Lite, a new 'lite' edition of Premier Christianity magazine, which will be available in braille and large print (17pt or 25pt).

Premier Christianity is the most popular Christian magazine in the UK and contains informative articles, interviews, and news. The new magazine will be available monthly for both UK and overseas readers.

The 'lite' version allows us to contain the magazine in a more manageable two volumes per edition.

If you prefer audio, a more complete edition of Premier Christianity is available on DAISY audio CD or USB memory stick.

Although we won't charge you for the magazine, you might wish to make a regular voluntary donation to cover our costs - we suggest approximately £35 per year (the full print magazine is £5 per month or £42.00 for an annual subscription).

To subscribe, please contact our Client Services team on 01858 438260 or email

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