Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Windrush Pioneers Strengthened the UK

Over the past few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the contribution Caribbean people have made to British society at various events celebrating the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush. The ship’s passengers were the first of thousands of West Indians who immigrated to the UK in the 1950's and 60's.

Many travelled to the UK in response to the British government’s call for people in the Commonwealth to work in labour starved industries. In making that decision to immigrate to the UK, the Windrush generation showed themselves to be ambitious, adventurous, and motivated individuals. As a result of their hard work, they were able to buy their own homes, raise their families and see their children go to university and become professionals.

They also overcame racism and discrimination, and laid a foundation from which subsequent generations have greatly benefited.

One of the greatest achievements of the Windrush generation was the creation of Britain’s black church movement. Some of our greatest and oldest denominations, the New Testament Church of God, the Church of God of Prophecy, the Bibleway Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, the New Testament Assembly, and Church of God in Christ were formed during this time. Spurred on by their faith, their desire to win souls for Christ and their dream of owning their own place of worship, those early church leaders brought black people together.

Let’s be honest, if it were not for our churches and the glorious gospel message they spread, many people in our community would be truly lost – spiritually, socially and culturally. Our churches have helped us to reconnect with God, overcome character flaws, fuelled our ambitions, and encouraged us to engage in charitable works.

We should admire, honour and learn from the Windrush generation. Their values have helped mould and shape us, and they have contributed greatly to the spiritual life of this country.

Windrush pioneers, we salute you and thank God for you.

[By Marcia Dixon - The Voice]

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