03 May 2014

UK's first purpose-built deaf church to close

UK's first purpose-built deaf church to close, by Emma Tracey (BBC News, 27 April 2014)

The St Saviour's foundation cornerstone was laid in 1870 on London's Oxford Street by the Prince of Wales and his wife Princess Alexandra, who had progressive hearing loss. The first service took place in 1873. Fifty years later the building was demolished to make way for development and the church relocated to Acton.

Fred Cuddeford is 105 years old. He was deafened a century ago in the same horse and cart accident that killed his mother. He has been a regular at St Saviour's Church and Deaf Centre for 94 years - in its old and new home. For him and many other, St Saviour's has not only been a church, but a social club for deaf people. These were once very important places to meet, where sign language users were able to have conversations.