Reverend Canon Gill Behenna, Chaplain among Deaf people in the Diocese of Bristol
Why did Gill win?
‘The winner of this category was chosen for her outstanding and ground-breaking contribution to the funeral experience of Deaf people.
When a member of the Deaf Community passes away, their funeral is often a large event, huge gatherings of Deaf people traveling from all across the country, Deaf and hearing family and friends coming together in fellowship, to mourn a loss, to celebrate a life, to console and be consoled. A funeral for a Deaf person is a cross-culture event spanning two languages and requiring specific pastoral skills.
This year’s winner works hard to ensure the final goodbye to a member of the Deaf community is accessible to all, that all who come may find a funeral service which meets their needs, allows them to grieve without the distraction of whether they will be able to understand the words of the service for their loved one.
Her desire to ensure everyone feels welcomed, is understood and plays their part in the goodbye is so very important, and the fact that both hearing and Deaf can communicate freely and naturally in their own languages with the minister allows for pastoral care to be truly accessible.’
Runner up in this category: Reverend Kate Bottley. Of Gogglebox fame.