Saturday, 20 July 2024

Windrush Service of Thanksgiving and Community Celebration

Hosted by the Moravian Church, on Sunday 25th June 2023, at Wesley Hall, Leicester

What a celebration it was on Sunday 25th June 2023! Friends from Leicester, London, Oxford, Birmingham, Northern Ireland, many other parts of the country, and even as far as Ladakh were present.

Leicester is in the heart of the country, has a sizable Caribbean community, and a predominantly Caribbean Moravian congregation, and was therefore the ideal place for the Moravian Church to choose for this celebration.

Moravian Windrush

Well over 250 people came together at Wesley Hall Methodist Church and Community Centre, raising the roof with strong singing voices. In addition, the sound of Hornsey Moravian Church Steel Band, Jamaican singer Clover Watts, the rousing organ, and contributions from representatives of several Caribbean and Commonwealth High Commissions, from the High Sherriff of Leicestershire and the General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches, and others, made the opening Worship Service special.

Rev Dr Livingstone Thompson preached on Psalm 137:2, 'We hung up our harps'. Its original context is that the people of Israel were displaced after the Babylonians' onslaught in 586 BC. They refused to play for their oppressors and 'hung up their harps'. In a similar way, Caribbean immigrants were expected to help rebuilding the 'Mother country' (as it was often called), but faced frequently great adversities, culminating in the Windrush scandal a few years ago, and had and still have to stand up strongly against injustices (= 'hanging up their harps').

The time after the church service was equally enjoyable: we gathered at Wesley Hall Community Centre for an excellent Caribbean meal (provided by Olli's Kitchen) and had plenty of inspiring entertainment by Attraction Blazin from EAVA FM, Clover Watts and Peter Weston, Hornsey Steel Band, ET, Tanni Browne, Lavender and others. The music made people get up and dance! What a wonderful atmosphere it was!

Pictures and a Storyboard were on display in the Community centre, telling the story of people's experiences of their journey during this time.

Wesley Hall Community Centre has suffered severe flood damage due to extreme weather only three days earlier. We are very grateful to Anita Rao, the centre manager, and her team, for their tremendous support. We could not have done it without their strong assistance.

We are also grateful to all who supported the event, and joined in, from other community groups, and from Ockbrook Moravian Church. Mutual support and community cohesion are indispensable if we are serious in our striving for a better world.

We also thank the Police, and almost countless supporters for everything!

We're delighted to say that our project has received #Windrush75 funding from @TNLCommunityFund to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Windrush.

It was a worthwhile and memorable event, and the experience of this day will shed light on our path ahead.

To see more images of the day, please contact the Editorial Team who will send you a link to view the photographs.

Sr Jacqui Walker and Br Joachim Kreusel
Leicester Moravian Church

We are thrilled to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Windrush event at Wesley Hall on 25th June 2023. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us for this memorable occasion, hosted by the Moravian Church. Your presence made it truly special.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all the incredible individuals who helped organise this event. It was a collaborative effort that brought together people from all walks of life, creating an atmosphere filled with vibrant energy and unity.

We are humbled and blessed to have welcomed over 250 attendees, embracing the invigorating music, soulful songs, captivating dances, mesmerising performances and delicious cuisine. It was an unforgettable celebration of culture, heritage and community.

Special thanks to our dignitaries:
• Desreine Taylor, Acting Deputy High Commissioner of Jamaica
• Damian Jackson, General Secretary of the Irish council of Churches
• Carlon Knight, representing Antigua and Barbuda
• Pinehas Auene, Deputy High Commissioner of Namibia
• Henrietta Chubb, The High Sheriff of Leicestershire & Consort (her husband David Chubb)
• George Cole Councillor, previous Lord Mayor
• Denese Daley-Cole previous Lord Mayoress.

Anita Rao
Manager of Wesley Hall Community Centre, Leicester

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Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
Moravian Church House, 

5 Muswell Hill, 
N10 3TJ


020 8883 3409

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