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Christian resources and activities for blind
and partially sighted people worldwide.

News and What's On

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40th Anniversary for Exeter and Exmouth Torch Fellowship Group!

Posted: 13th February 2015 by Grace Davis

The Exeter and Exmouth Torch Fellowship Group will be meeting on February 14th to celebrate a big milestone: their fortieth anniversary!

Each month, the Group brings blind and partially sighted people together with sighted helpers for an afternoon of fun, food and fellowship.

Pat Cave, secretary of the Group, has been involved for almost 30 years. She says, ‘The best things about the group are bringing people together, the Christian fellowship and the help and encouragement it provides.’

The Exeter and Exmouth Torch Group is one of over 100 local groups. Torch Groups are Christian-led but non-denominational and open and welcoming to all who are affected by sight loss.

The celebration is open to visitors. The local Group is always on the lookout for new volunteers from local churches so why not come along and see if you can help.

Or, if you would like to find a group in your area, please go to our directory.

If you would like more information about setting up a Fellowship Group, please have a look at our Groups and Fellowship area.

Alternatively, you can contact Client Services on 01858 438 260, for more information about Torch Groups.

Sight Loss Awareness Sessions

Posted: 6th February 2015 by Grace Davis

Sight loss can be devastating. 1 in 4 of us will experience it. Would you like to know what you can do to help?

Torch is running three Sight Loss Awareness Sessions in Devon this March.

The sessions are open to anyone interested in finding out about the impact of sight loss, and how Christians and churches can support people in their local area who are affected by sight loss.

To find out more and to book your place, please to go our Sight Loss Awareness Session page.

Supporting people through change and loss

Posted: 3rd February 2015 by Grace Davis

candle.pngChange and loss affect us all throughout our lives in different ways. The death of a loved one, loss of a pet, a friend moving away, the loss of sight or hearing, or the changes brought by the onset of dementia - to name a few. Being equipped to support people through change and loss in our churches and wider communities is important.

A day conference, Supporting People Through Change and Loss, will take place on Saturday March 21st. Organised by the Christian Helplines Association (CHA) the event will take place at Queens Road Baptist Church, Coventry, CV1 3EG from 11am – 5pm. Speakers Bob and Joy Jones (Care for the Family) will give an overview; Debra Chand (Torch Trust) will cover physical loss and Louise Morse (Pilgrims’ Friend Society) will speak on the onset of dementia.

To book go to 

Early bird tickets cost only £20. (£25 from 1st March or on the door). The price includes buffet lunch and refreshments.

For more information or a conference brochure go to or contact John Pither, Chair of CHA, at .

CRE Exeter - your FREE badge to join us at Torch stand P58

Posted: 22nd January 2015 by Debra Chand

CRE Exeter - your FREE badge to join us at Torch stand P58 Picture

CRE Southwest is coming soon! We look forward to meeting you at Torch stand P58, in the Caring and Enabling zone.

The event will take place at Westpoint, Exeter, EX5 1DJ, on 10-11 February, starting at 10am each day.

Gordon Temple, Torch Trust CEO, and Janet Eardley, our South West Area Presence Developer, look forward to meeting you with our team of volunteers at Torch stand P58.

To join us, follow the on-screen instructions HERE for your free badge.

Join us, too, for a free seminar - Is your church sight-loss friendly? – on Tuesday, 1pm.

Led by Janet Eardley, this will be an interactive session exploring ways in which your church can be more 'sight loss friendly'. One in four of the population will experience sight loss, so this is an issue affecting every church. Find out more about the effects of different eye conditions, how sight loss affects our experience of church, and how churches can respond and reach out to people with sight loss at church and in their local community.

Janet is working with local churches to develop support for people who are experiencing sight loss. Janet formerly worked with the Christian charity, Prospects, developing ministry among people with learning disabilities, and prior to this gained many years’ experience at a sight loss charity in Kendal, Cumbria, and also as a social worker for the Deaf.

For more information, you can contact Janet by email on



Insight into Disability

Posted: 22nd January 2015 by Debra Chand

Insight into Disability Picture


Are you caring for someone who is experiencing the early stages of disability? A day conference coming up soon could be just for you...

Every day hundreds of people across Britain learn that they are in the early stages of a limiting disability such as sight loss or chronic illness, bringing practical, emotional and spiritual challenges.

Gordon Temple will be leading a day course, ‘Insight into disability’, for carers of people experiencing the onset of disability, and of interest to anyone involved in pastoral care.

Organised by CWR, the event will take place on Saturday 7th March at Waverley Abbey House, Farnham, in Surrey, from 9am to 4.20pm.

The day will cover aspects such as how we understand disability and support people through change and loss, while also protecting the wellbeing of carers. How can we offer a pastoral response, to help disabled people rebuild their lives and express their God-given gifting? What part does the Church have in their rehabilitation and re-enablement?

Gordon brings many years of experience in this area, as CEO of Torch Trust, which brings Christian support for people who are blind or partially sighted, and Executive Officer of Churches for All, which works to equip and enable churches to ensure that everyone feels included and able to grow in faith and ministry. Gordon is also author of the book Enabling Church - a Bible-based resource towards the full inclusion of disabled people.

Book now for the early bird price, £46.80 (£52 from 7 February). Fee includes lunch and refreshments. Group discounts available. For more information or to book go to or phone 01252 784719.

Container arrives at Torch House

Posted: 8th January 2015 by Grace Davis

A great start to the new year for Torch Trust as our 40-foot container arrived on the premises on Monday morning.Container being lifted off a trailer

As the photo shows, unloading it was a big task involving cranes mounted to a sidelift trailer! Soon it was safely in place, and the Torch staff gathered together to give thanks for its arrival and pray for the rest of its journey.

Over the next couple of weeks, the container will be gradually filled with all kinds of relief items before beginning its long voyage to Africa.








Christmas greetings from Torch

Posted: 18th December 2014 by Grace Davis

Hello everyone, and a merry Christmas to you all.

It's been a busy season here at Torch and we'd like to thTorch Christmas Carol Service 2014ank all of our supporters, our clients and our volunteers for the wonderful work they do throughout the year.

We'd like to wish you a blessed and happy Christmas, may it be a time of peace, reflection and new beginnings for you all. God bless.







Reaching out to people with sight loss in Leeds

Posted: 4th November 2014 by James Seager

south_parade_church_leeds.jpgIf you live within reach of Leeds and would like to find out about sight loss and how Christians can support people affected, you are warmly invited to a free morning workshop this Saturday.

The ‘Discover Torch’ event runs from 9.45-12.30, Saturday 8 November, at South Parade Baptist Church, Kirkstall Lane, Headingley, Leeds LS6 3L.

The trauma of a sight loss diagnosis has been compared to a bereavement in terms of its impact, yet only one in five people has someone with them at diagnosis - and 100 people learn that they are losing their sight every day in the UK.

At the conference you will discover more about the impact and needs of people living with sight loss in Leeds, an introduction to sight loss, and an overview of Torch Trust - including resources to help churches reach out to people with sight loss in the local community, such as setting up a local befriending service and friendship groups.

For more information (booking advisable), contact James Seager by email or phone James on 07446 898149.

Learning to cope with sight loss

Posted: 9th October 2014 by Debra Chand

RuthUsingAMonocular.jpgIf you are experiencing sight loss or know someone who is, a Moving Forward break may be just the thing - book now for the next 31 October - 3 November.

These short residential breaks provide information, skills training and pastoral support for people who are adjusting to life with sight loss.

There’s just time to book for the next event, which will take place from Friday 31 October – Monday 3 November, at Torch’s Holiday and Retreat Centre in Sussex. The centre has been beautifully refurbished to create a relaxing, fully accessible venue.

Headed by Torch’s holidays leader and centre manager, Gail Millar, a qualified Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, the Moving Forward team are all Christian professionals in the field. Practical sessions will include coping with everyday life, helpful equipment and services, managing finances, and staying well connected, along with opportunities for reflection, prayer and relaxation. Feedback from clients has been so encouraging that Torch plan to run more events in 2015.

‘Before I went to the Torch weekend I wasn’t coping – I put on a brave face, but thought I was a failure and that life as I knew it was pretty much over... Being there has given me a hope that I never knew possible.’

Places are limited and booking is essential. To find out more and to book, contact us on 01273 832282 or


The Sower

Posted: 6th October 2014 by David Palmer

A Harvest-themed telephone Group for blind and partially sighted people.parable-of-the-sower.jpg

Whether we like it or not all the signs of autumn are now fast approaching! The nights are drawing in, the mornings feel more chilly, the trees are changing colour and churches up and down the country start to celebrate and give thanks to God for all his bounty and provision.

In line with this theme TorchTalk, our telephone friendship service, is running a six week harvest themed Group entitled ‘The Sower’, reflecting God’s creative activity in the world and our lives. The Group commences Monday October 6 at 3.30pm and will run for six weeks until November 10. Each of TorchTalk Groups holds between six to nine people so if you are interested please hurry and call one of our Client Services team on 01858 438260.




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