13 November 2018 IN: National News
A special service of thanksgiving and celebration was held at Manchester Cathedral to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush, bringing to these shores 500 Caribbean men and women.They had responded to an invitation to come to a country in recovery from the Second World War and in need of help from British subjects who were also Commonwealth citizens.
The service was fittingly diverse.There was a rich selection of music provided by Tony Chess and De Sons of Africa, Trinity High School Gospel Choir, and singer Fiona Lees, accompanied by Lloyd Gordon.Paulette Lemard performed a moving drama of reminiscence.There were poetry, prayers and an act of remembrance.Most powerfully, Professor Gus John preached of the assumptions and continuing effects of imperialism on our world.
For the service, the Dean wore the beautiful Windrush Cope (shown above). A cope is a long cloak-like robe used by clergy, and this was made by the renowned artist, Terry Duffy. The images on it provide testimony of the achievements of those who made their home in this country, and the discrimination they experienced. It was commissioned by the Church of England’s National Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, and is available on request to churches and clergy across the country.
Altogether, the service provided a splendid occasion to remember and celebrate the contribution the Windrush generation continues to make to our country.