A d/Deaf First church

Towards a d/Deaf First church in Sutton

Note: At the end of April 2022, The Dreaming Tree Sutton CIC shared that they were in a financial crisis with their funds likely to run out within a matter of weeks. SUTTONfx called a meeting and invited people and organisations to look at how we can collaborate to secure funding for The Dreaming Tree Project to secure its immediate future and ensure as many of its programmes as possible can continue.

Following the meeting Penny Smart, Director, felt that she needed to end The Dreaming Tree Sutton.

Up until April 2022, SUTTONfx had been talking with The Dreaming Tree, Sutton CIC about the spiritual needs of their service users. The Dreaming Tree is a Community Interest Company that supports all d/Deaf people within the borough of Sutton. The nearest D/deaf church, one that offers services translated into BSL is in Croydon.

The d/Deaf community is very often marginalised, cut off from access to the whole church.

We had been developing a vision of a d/Deaf First church. The idea of a d/Deaf First church means is that when our d/Deaf community come to church to worship their communication needs are met straight away. They will be able to engage in services given by ministers and also the whole life of the community of the church as well.

This means being d/Deaf Friendly not necessarily having to be BSL friendly, but knowing how to support people when they come along to worship.

More work needs to be done over the next few months to develop the vision and to find a suitable venue that would enable the creation of a worshipping fellowship in which the needs d/Deaf are prioritised.