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Event Series Event Series: Terry Higgins Memorial Quilt

Terry Higgins Memorial Quilt

8 May 11:00 - 18:00

Wednesday 8th May – Friday 17th May (free entry, no ticket required)

The Fitzrovia Chapel is delighted to host the Terry Higgins Memorial Quilt in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust. Terry Higgins was the first named person to die of AIDS in the UK, and Terrence Higgins Trust was founded in his memory in 1982. Since then, the trust has played a central role in HIV and sexual health campaigning. Through their work they continue to support those affected, destigmatise the virus and raise awareness of sexual health issues. 

On display in the chapel will be a special new quilt dedicated to Terry Higgins, commissioned by the trust to mark their 40th Anniversary year. A tribute to Terry’s life and the legacy of his death, the Terry Higgins Memorial Quilt is part of a rich tradition of memorialisation and “radical quilting” associated with AIDS activism which first occurred in the 1980s in America. Protesters used traditional quilting methods to produce “panels,” roughly the dimensions of a human grave, in memory of their loved ones who had died of AIDS, laying them out on the ground during demonstrations as a visual, spatial reminder of the thousands of people who had died. 

Made with the help of The Quilters’ Guild, Terry’s quilt consists of eight individual panels, each devoted to a different element of Terry’s life. Produced by skilled quilters and based on stories and tributes from those who knew and loved Terry, the panels trace Terry’s story, from a childhood in Wales to his beloved Heaven nightclub, where he met his partner and eventual co-founder of Terrence Higgins Trust, Rupert Whitaker OBE. Sewn together, each individual panel forms the overarching motif of the trust’s heart emblem, a reminder of their central values of love, care and compassion. 

Formerly the chapel for the Middlesex Hospital, which housed the UK’s first dedicated AIDS wards, the Fitzrovia Chapel has a deep and longstanding connection with those affected by HIV and AIDS and will provide the perfect context for exploring Terry’s quilt in detail. In this healing and contemplative setting, visitors are encouraged to remember those lost to the virus and to reflect on the progress made by Terrence Higgins Trust, who are striving to end new HIV cases in the UK by 2030.


Fitzrovia Chapel
2 Pearson Square, Fitzrovia
London, W1T 3BF United Kingdom
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020 3409 9895
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