Scripture, Dissent, and Deaf Space
5 December 2013
John Lyons secures three year Leverhulme Trust project
John Lyons has secured a three year Leverhulme Trust project grant worth £244,911 for his project, Scripture, dissent and Deaf space: St Saviour’s, Oxford Street. In 1859, a committee of seven Deaf men backed by one of London’s largest Deaf welfare organisations presented a request to the Church of England for ‘a church of their own’ and offered funds to promote the build. The result was England’s first Deaf Church, St Saviour’s in Oxford Street, London. With the right to worship effectively standing for other rights—to education, to work, to citizenship and membership of society—St Saviour’s stood for nearly fifty years as “a great symbol for Deaf people” and as a symbolic hub for the recognition of the London Deaf community. The project will focus upon both a spatial plane, the meeting points between the spaces provided for Deaf people within the church and those spaces produced by Deaf people within it, and the temporal plane, looking back to the original sources of ideas about Deaf people and forward to the ideas held by present day welfare organisations and wider society more generally.