Windrush 75 – Remembering the struggle, celebrating the contribution and flourishing for the future: A Service of Thanksgiving will take place in Southwark Cathedral at 2pm on Thursday 22 June 2023.
The service will mark the 75th anniversary of the docking of the MV Empire Windrush into Tilbury Docks, which brought more than 500 Caribbean men and women who responded to an invitation to come to a country in recovery from the World War II. The service will celebrate the significant role of the Windrush Generation in shaping the cultural landscape of Britain.
Dionne Gravesande, Chair of the Windrush 75 planning committee, said: “This momentous occasion brings together diverse communities, faiths, and organisations in a spirit of collaboration and partnership. The service presents a unique opportunity for people of all backgrounds to unite, celebrate the Windrush generation’s profound contributions, and reaffirm our commitment to a shared society where all people can flourish.”
The service will involve worship, music, reflections, readings and prayers and will touch on the themes that are relevant namely the invitation, the recognising of struggle following the invitation and the creative, unique and significant contributions made by the citizens and their descendants since then.
The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon, said: “This anniversary offers a unique moment in the life of our nation when we can honour the legacy of the Windrush generation and hear how younger voices are building on their extraordinary heritage. We will be celebrating their achievements and expressing our deep gratitude – as well as acknowledging the struggles that they have faced.”
Richard Reddie, Director of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, said: “The Windrush generation’s impact on Britain has been incalculable. For instance, they have transformed the spiritual climate on these shores since 1948; they have been a blessing to historic churches that were previously struggling numbers-wise, while Black Pentecostal congregations are bucking the trend of decline in attendance. This is to be celebrated, and God is to be praised!”