BBC Ouch is reporting that the UK’s only remaining Deaf Church is to be sold.
The congregation at St Saviours in London, which has been providing a place of worship for deaf people since 1870, has dwindled while other more modern deaf churches cater for younger worshippers.
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.
Fred’s son Freddie says that his father will miss out socially when the church has gone: “This is Dad’s only outing.”
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