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On Sunday the 20th June, we celebrated Windrush – a generation who made the brave choice to move to Britain to help the nation post-war between the years of 1948 and 1973. To mark the day, some of our congregation shared their stories, both highlighting the joy and hardships that arriving in Britain caused for their loved ones.

 

Watch the film below.

One of the creatives who worked on the film was Patreese Erskine – a director, graphic designer and photographer. Here are some of her thoughts and insights about the project.

 

What did you enjoy most about creating this piece?

I always enjoy and cherish the opportunity to tell people’s stories. For this project in particular, I loved hearing reflections on how the journey, courage and perseverance of the Windrush Generation influences who we, as Black British Caribbeans, are today.There was a really heartwarming moment whilst filming one of the slightly more reserved ladies. As one of the guys arrived, he overheard her mention the parish in Jamaica where she was from and he excitedly went on to say he had visited there. They shared photos and memories from the parish — landmarks, traditional food and memories of the ocean. Her eyes lit up as she continued to share her story.On set, it’s important for people to not just feel like another member of a cast but to be seen as an actual person. I think this moment made her feel seen and known.

 

What does it mean to you?

I’m not sure I can capture how it feels to be part of a church that would take the time to honour and recognise the Windrush Generation — the moment in history and the continuation of the journey. This project signified the future for me; where there are open ears and open hearts to listen and learn from the genuine experiences of others. As racial tensions continue to grip a large percentage of society, my hope would be that The Church would be the example of what it looks like to embrace, honour and value individuals — no matter skin colour, age, gender or any other defining feature.

 

What do you hope it will mean for others?

I hope it means accountability. Though as individuals, we may not to blame for the struggles of the Windrush Generation or any other minority group, we can commit to being a part, if not pioneers of change.I also hope it encourages people to share, tell and capture stories. We learn by taking the time to listen to others.

Thank you so much to Patreese and the team who created such a powerful and beautiful piece of work. And thank you to all those in the Windrush generation – our country wouldn’t be where it is today without you.