Whats On
Tribute - Joan Gibson

On Thursday 15th May, family and friends gathered at Coney Hill Crematorium for the funeral service of Joan Gibson, a member of Gloucester & District Hard of Hearing Club and also worshiper at Gloucestershire Deaf Community Church.  Jenny Hopkins CEO, represented GDA at the service.
 
Steve Morris, Chaplain among Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, gave a lovely tribute to Joan which, for the benefit of all, we reproduce below:
 
I'm Steve Morris, Chaplain among Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. I'm representing Gloucester & District Hard of Hearing Club and my friend Dennis and I are both representing Gloucestershire Deaf Community Church.
 
Around early 1995 Gloucestershire Deaf Community Church started using St Lawrence's Church, Barnwood, for their monthly services. I was extremely grateful that two members of the congregation gave up their time on those afternoons to open the doors and get everything ready. Those two ladies were Yolanda Smith and Joan Gibson.
 
Yolanda and Joan turned up every month to help prepare the service. Around 1999 we moved to the Centre for Deaf People, the old primary school, for our monthly services. Joan in particular continued to come to our services there quite often. Although she didn't know sign language, Joan would come for the service, and only occasionally stay for tea.
 
I still thought of Yolanda and Joan as members of our congregation even when, as time moved on, we held most of our services at St Christophers's in Cheltenham. Then Yolanda turned up; it was just like old times and I have a photograph to prove it! They didn't have to set up now, but they still came. And with everybody else, they both came to tea at the vicarage afterwards - which really pleased me!
 
Eventually Joan moved into Chestnut Court. I took Holy Communion to her there. The improvement in her appearance told me she was being well cared for - but still the same care in return from Joan. She continued to ask me, 'How is so and so?' 'Have you been to see the Deaf ladies who'd moved to Dymock?' 'Were they okay?' 'Had I seen. . .were they now alright?'
 
Joan was hard of hearing, not Deaf, but our services and the Deaf people obviously meant a great deal to her. So, in Joan, Chestnut Court, St Lawrence's, Barnwood, the Gloucester Hard of Hearing Club and the Church for Deaf People, have all lost a member. Joan, you very faithfully came to us for worship. Next time we worship together will be in heaven - so we'll be coming to you.
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