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Torch News


Our Lent Reading Guide

Posted: 14th February 2019 by

It may still be winter outside, but somehow already Easter is well on its way! This raises the very good question: how do we prepare? Thankfully we have the answer as Torch has plenty of great Lent resources in accessible media to help you out...

If you enjoy devotional books, why not read Celtic Lent: 40 days of devotions to Easter. Written by David Cole, this inspirational book takes the reader through the 40 days of Lent to the celebration of Easter through the eyes and beliefs of Celtic Christianity. Drawing on primary sources of pastoral letters, monastic rules and the theological teaching of the Celtic church, the author presents a different perspective on the cross of Christ and draws us to see our own life journeys with a new and transforming vision. Ref: 9032, £8.99.

If lively discussion gets you going, try an always-popular York Course such as Daring To See God Now. This is a five session ecumenical course for discussion groups, written by Bishop Nick Baines. Mark’s Gospel begins with Jesus ‘proclaiming the Good news of God’. But, what is this ‘good news’, and who is it for? This course raises important questions about change, repentance, and how we can become living evidence of the good news. Ref: 9047, £3.10.

Our next book comes very well recommended as it’s the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2019. Reconciliation, by Dr Muthuraj Swamy, issues a vibrant call to the church to support and strengthen relationships amongst church members; to cross borders to build connections with different denominations, and to maintain open attitudes towards our neighbours from other religions and ideologies. Ref: 9048, £9.99.

All of the books mentioned in this post can be ordered now in braille and large print (17pt, 20pt, 25pt and 30pt). Please call 01858 438260 for DAISY audio availability

Torch Library is now In Your Pocket!

Posted: 1st February 2019 by Torch Trust

We are thrilled to announce that our Torch Trust Audio Library of Christian Literature with over 1,600 titles is now available through In Your Pocket!

In your pocket is a mobile device designed for people with sight loss.  In Your Pocket, created by RNIB, RealSAM and O2 aims to make accessing talking books and newspapaers easy and quick.

Torch Trust is delighted to be working in partnership with this group of organisations.  "Together we are able to offer easy access to Christian resources encouraging people on their spiritual journey" says Torch CEO Julia Hyde.

We invite our Torch friends to order their In Your Pocket device directly from In Your Pocket by calling their dedicated helpline 0333 7727708 or online at

Blog: Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering

Posted: 23rd January 2019 by Torch Trust

Blog: Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering Picture

Did you know that 21st January is known as “Blue Monday”? It’s dubbed as the saddest day of the year – though this was essentially a successful marketing ploy by a travel company! Read more about Blue Monday and how the man who coined the concept urges us all to dump it! However – it’s well acknowledged that winter brings seasonal depression and loneliness.  So instead of thinking about Blue Monday, at Torch we are spending the week of 21st thinking about how to overcome or simply manage best with winter blues.

Volunteering with Torch, for example, isn’t only about supporting people with sight loss – although the difference your time and passion can make is obviously a fantastic reason to get involved! No, research is increasingly showing that volunteering also provides massive benefits to the volunteer.

The Mental Health Foundation have produced a short publication called ‘Doing Good Does You Good’ which you can read on their website, exploring the ways that becoming a volunteer can improve your own mental health. These include:

  • lowering stress by releasing endorphins which boost our immune systems and lower feelings of pain,
  • helping you make friends – meeting and working alongside other volunteers is a great way to bond and become part of a community,
  • reducing negative feelings – positive actions create a bank of happy memories to draw upon when feeling down,
  • helping you keep things in perspective by enabling you to focus on what is good rather than what’s lacking in your own life. A different perspective can help you reframe your own situation.

Volunteering can be a huge mood booster – and it’s a very contagious feeling! Any act of kindness can help make the world a better place, and little by little it all matters. As a Christian charity, we at Torch believe that following in Jesus’ footsteps by spending our time helping other people is one of the most important things we all can do.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with Torch, why not contact, or call us on 01858 438260.

Blog: Our braille work

Posted: 3rd January 2019 by Torch Trust

Blog: Our braille work Picture

To celebrate World Braille Day 2019 today, we wanted to share the story of our own braille work with you! Braille is very important for Torch as it’s how we communicate with many of our service users: from our leaflets and newsletters, to our scripture calendar, to our postal lending library. Additionally, we produce the world’s largest circulation Braille magazine, The Torch. This periodical goes around the world to well over 7,000 people, and has been running for over 60 years encouraging blind and partially sighted people in their Christian faith.

Do you know how the process of brailling on a large scale work? Many of you may have experience with manually powered braillers, often found in schools or individuals’ homes, but creating enough braille for our many clients requires some fairly hefty machinery!

The most important piece of kit is the braille printer, a huge machine which sits in our production department. The machine is fed by huge spools of braille paper which stand half a metre high! We also have machines which trim the sheets and bind the pages, as well as a bagging machine which gets them ready to be sent out all over the world.

These machines are of course, not the start of our braille process – no, that happens upstairs in Torch House’s transcription department. This is where staff members source and prepare electronic files for books to be transcribed into braille. It’s also where Torch’s own publications get put into a format ready for brailling. The trickiest jobs are ones with a non-standard layout – so perhaps lots of tables, or pictures, or music notation. Our skilled staff work very hard to make sure we can produce as much braille as possible for our clients!

On this World Braille Day, please pray for all the people around the world who use and rely on braille, and for those who are involved in the production and distribution of it.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Posted: 23rd December 2018 by Torch Trust

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Picture

May God bless you all at this special time as we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus.

Torch Carol Service - Wed 12th Dec 2018

Posted: 21st November 2018 by Julia Hyde

Torch Carol Service - Wed 12th Dec 2018 Picture

We are delighted to invite you to our Carol Service here at Torch House on Wednesday 12th December 2018.

Please do come along and join us at our Sight Loss Friendly Carol Service which will begin at 2pm.

All are welcome to enjoy Christmas worship and praise, followed by mince pies and chance for a chat afterwards.  

Our Christmas Gift To You!

Posted: 19th October 2018 by David Shepherd

This Christmastime we would like to offer you a gift! We have partnered with Lifewords to produce large print, braille and audio versions of their popular Christmas booklet ‘OUTSIDE/IN’ – and it’s completely free to receive.

Here’s what Lifewords have to say about this lovely resource: ‘This year let the Christmas story turn your church, your community, even your world, OUTSIDE/IN. OUTSIDE/IN is a beautifully illustrated booklet told from the perspective of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and sages: outsiders who find themselves included at the very heart of the story. The Christmas story is full of unlikely characters. Those on the edges are drawn to the heart of the action. Everyone is invited in. We hope you’ll join us in finding ways to share that invitation this year – to welcome people in to the good news of the Christmas story.’

To receive a copy in your choice of accessible media, just get in touch with Client Services on 01858 438260 or email

Join us for FREE at CRE, 16th - 18th October!

Posted: 1st October 2018 by Grace Davis

From October 16th to 18th Torch will be attending the Christian Resources Exhibtion at Sandown Park. We're sharing a stand with Churches For All and looking forward to a wonderful 3 days! Also present as a special guest will be long-time friend of Torch, Marilyn Baker, who will be attending to open the exhibition and perform in concert. Torch staff will be available all three days to tell the world more about our work and talk about our new campaign, Sight Loss Friendly Church!

Best of all, we've been given free tickets (on-the-door value of £8) for any of our clients, supporters and other friends! We'd love to see you there so get hold of your FREE ticket just follow this link and fill out the form: CRE free tickets.

You can find out more about CRE on their website here.

Book a Torch Holiday for 2019 Now!

Posted: 18th September 2018 by Grace Davis

There’s something for everyone at the Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre – the haven for people with sight loss! Whichever holiday you choose there are always plenty of trips out to places of interest, and excellent Christian content.

Whatever the weather, warm friendship, fun, comfortable accommodation and good food are guaranteed! You’ll be blessed physically and spiritually on a Torch Holiday.

What's more, our holiday prices are fully inclusive! That means inclusive of all meals, outings, entrance fees, event tickets and transport during the holiday.

Highlights include April's Be Loved Women’s Pamper: 'Immerse yourself in a few days of relaxation and rejuvenation at Torch HRC.' In May, our Big Church Day Out Weekend: 'Christian music festival fun at Wiston House; daily travel to the event.' And running throughout summer, our series of Summer Holidays: 'A time of fun and fellowship, with plenty of opportunities to relax or go on excursions.'

Visit our holidays web area now to read about each holiday that we're running in 2019 here. Or give Client Services a ring on 01858 438260 to book today!

Come along and celebrate at our annual Thanksgiving Day!

Posted: 6th September 2018 by Grace Davis

EvPeople singing at a Thanksgiving Serviceery year we hold a celebratory event where we give thanks to the Lord for all that has happened in our work over the past year. We lift the ongoing work of Torch, and the people who use our services, up to God and give praise together!

This year we'll be celebrating at Torch House in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 9HL. The day will begin at 2pm with a service of thanksgiving and will be followed by free refreshments and open fellowship.

Our staff members will be on hand to talk about all things Torch and answer any questions you may have about our work and services we provide.

We'll also have a shop selling our large print and braille calendars. The day will draw to a close at 5pm.

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