Windrush Day is celebrated to honour the British Caribbean community and recognise the Windrush generation’s contribution to British society. The Windrush generation refers to people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1973, in response to labour shortages in the UK after World War II. The day marks the arrival of HMT Windrush, which brought one of the first groups of West Indian Migrants to the UK in 1948. On 22nd June 2023 the Parish of St Pauls and St John’s marked the sixth

anniversary of Windrush Day and 75 years since HMT Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex. Here at St Paul's and St John’s - to honour this special day we held a Windrush Celebration on Sunday 25 June to celebrate and commemorate the members of our parish who are part of this generation. It was an extra special time for the church as we also celebrated the Feast of St John the Baptist in our newly opened church building - at St John’s. Our event was well attended, we had a barbecue with lots of conversation
and laughter as members of the church from the Windrush generation reminisced on their journey to England. Our very own artist in residence Bridget Badoe McQuick facilitated a storytelling session to encourage members to share their story on their experiences on arriving in England. Using a storytelling chair as the tool to capture stories and we had some of our parishioners sit in the chair and shared their experience when they arrived in England. One of their earliest memories shared from their first time
arriving in England, was not being able to feel their hands because it was ‘so cold!’ This was a shock to the system of Caribbean people who were often used to ‘T-Shirt weather.’ They also recalled the ‘the trouble they had with finding somewhere to live, finding a job, the racism they faced. We were even told the story of a soldier who had fought in WW2.The session was very popular and the feedback from the day was that we should have another story sharing session so we can share more stories. The power
of sharing a personal story is well documented as we all love hearing stories. Stories add vibrancy to the human experience and help us feel connected to the world around us.*Bridget is also a Heritage Champion for the Borough and her passion is telling and collecting the untold stories of local residents because she believes that storytelling brings the experiences of people to life, so that people from all backgrounds can celebrate the vital part different communities have played in shaping the UK throughout the years.