Transcription of the 26th June 2014 BBC coverage on the Acton closure

BBC London recently covered the closure of the Acton church. Since they didn’t provide subtitles or a transcription for the film, I’ve typed one up.

I’m not sure how to embed the video from the BBC site, so you’ll have to visit and watch it at

The transcription runs:

0 secs

Familiar surroundings for many church-goers, but the type of service not so conventional. They’re signing hymns.It’s a service specifically for Deaf people conducted only in sign language. Vera is a retired chaplain. She’s been coming to the church for the last 30 years. But today could be one of her last visits.

22 secs

“I’ve seen so many services here: baptisms… so many. I’ve got good memories, and they’re very precious to me.”

35 secs

St Saviour’s was built by a Deaf charity almost 90 years ago. It’ll now be sold on after proving too expensive to maintain. It first moved to Acton after it was relocated from Oxford Circus almost 90 years ago. The new building’s design was carefully thought out.

52 secs

The church was built specifically for the Deaf community. There are chairs instead of pews to avoid restricted movement while signing. There are lecturns either side of the altar, one for a speaker and one for a signer. And the floor slopes up towards the back to allow everyone to see.

1 min, 8 secs

“One day I met a friend of mine who brought me here to the Deaf club. And I’ve been here ever since. Since I was about 15 and a half.”

“I feel very sad that it’s not going to be here. What will we do?”

The church is still looking for a new home. Many memories will be left here.

1 min, 30 secs

“They filmed my first reunion service here”.
“How many years ago?”
“20 years ago”
“And now we’re filming you now at one of the last?”
“How does that feel?”
“Still sad, still sad… very”.

18.1 – The Glorified Body

This is somewhat off the track of St Saviour’s, but the language so struck me that I thought it was worth sharing.

Below is an excerpt from a pamphlet printed by the New-York Protestant Episcopal Tract Society entitled “The Recognition, or, The deaf and dumb girl : a true narrative” (183- ?)

The quotation is from pp 12-13, and is the best example I’ve seen so far of someone explaining how deaf people will become hearing after death.

As someone used to more explicitly Oral histories, what struck me was that there is no reference to ‘loss’. In fact, the ability to speak is described as a ‘newly acquired faculty’. That’s interesting, in that it seems to suggest that those ‘deaf and mute’ have not lost their hearing or speech, but never had it in the first place.

What also struck me (somewhat irreverently) was that, in addition to gaining hearing, the girl (Ellen) is also immediately equipped to understand and produce some very niche religious language – which is important, because–note–Jesus speaks, and either invites people into heaven, or sends them to hell by verbal command.

Anyway, see what you think:

I reflected that the first thrilling sound that will strike upon Ellen’s astonished ear will be the awakening note of the arch angel’s trumpet, summoning the quick and dead to judgement !

O, solemn thought! the first sentence she will ever hear pronounced, will be the eternal benediction of those on the right hand of their Saviour and Judge, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;’ and the immutable malediction denounced against those on the left, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’

I hope she will be enabled to continue faithful until death, and then, when mortality is swallowed up of life, and she shall be invested with a glorified body, ‘will the tongue of the dumb be loosed,’ and the first use she will make of her newly acquired faculty, will be in an ascription of praise to the’ holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God,’ who made, redeemed, and sanctified her.

The first song she will ever sing, will be the song of the redeemed, ‘Alleluiah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!’

The first concord of sweet sounds that will ever strike upon her enraptured sense, will be the celestial harmony of the angelic choir, of ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, who surround the throne, saying, with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing !’