Windrush Day, Monday 22 June 2020
3 months ago
The Bishops, Archdeacons and Dean of the Diocese, together with our Area Minority Ethnic Anglian Concerns Committee (MEACC) leads, are calling the people of the Diocese to observe two minutes’ silence at 11.00am on Windrush Day, Monday 22 June.
Bishop Christopher writes: “I rejoice at and take pride in the diversity within the Diocese of Southwark which I see as God’s gift and blessing. We have stood strongly with the Black Lives Matter campaign and we want also to lament past and present injustices and wrongs, celebrating the gifts and talents of people of Caribbean heritage and the many ways they have enriched our churches and parishes.
“As we spend two minutes in silence let us contemplate the lives lost in the slave trade; lament the racism and racial inequality built into our national systems and structures since that time; and consider what action we can take to confront racial injustice today.
“Let us make Windrush Day 2020 a day when we as a Diocese pledge to change structures of inequality in the Church as we seek to implement our vision of increasing the diversity of lay and ordained leaders in our parishes and institutions.”
You might find it helpful to use the prayer written by the Dean for Black Lives Matter at the end of the two minutes’ silence:
God of all, who loves each of us for who we are, to whom each life matters, who counts the hairs on our head, who knows when a sparrow falls; teach us to love as you love to respect, to honour, to care and to protect each of our sisters and brothers, that your embracing, including kingdom may come now and your love be known. Amen
The Revd Andrew Moughtin-Mumby, Rector of St Peter, Walworth, will be leading the National Online Service from St Peter’s at 9.00am on Sunday morning (21 June) and he will also lead a one-minute silence during that service. We are delighted that he has been asked to do this and hope that you will encourage those in your congregations to tune in or watch it later on the Church of England website at www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online
Some will find it helpful to have an image upon which to focus as they contemplate the work that we can all do to ensure equality in our Church. We have put together a montage of images which might help with this. They are of the Revd Dorothy Penniecooke, who was part of the Here I Am celebratory exhibition in 2019; The Southwark Trinity Icon, commissioned in 2018 by Bishop Christopher, which has a boat above the head of the Caribbean Elder on the right hand side; and Eileen Walkin receiving the Lancelot Andrewes medal from Bishop Christopher earlier this year. You might find it helpful to focus on this as you pray for equality and give thanks for all that the Windrush generation and their descendants have brought to our Diocese and our nation.
Bishop Christopher hopes that you and your congregations will join in marking the silence at 11.00am on Monday, or, if this is not possible, spend some time during Monday lamenting, giving thanks for and praying for all those of Caribbean heritage in our wonderfully diverse and vibrant Diocese.