Diocese of Chichester

Windrush: Bishop Leon’s Visit

To mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Bishop Leon Golding, Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay in Jamaica, was invited to the Diocese of Chichester for a five-day programme of visits to churches and schools.

On 6 jul 2023

In Events

By communications

Bishop Martin accompanied Bishop Leon on some of the visits around the diocese. As well as schools, he was invited to address people in churches and the NHS, as well as preaching at two services including the Holy Communion Sunday morning service at Chichester Cathedral.

He reminded the congregation that God in Christ calls people from diverse and different backgrounds to unite around His table, to be strengthened by his grace to reach out to others with His love and in His name.

In his words, “We are called in Christ’s name to make a difference where we are and beyond. May we hear Christ’s summons for us to go and to be the difference where we are that our society and world may be a place of love and care for all people, especially for the vulnerable.” His words succinctly defined our role as Christians and found an echo in the hearts of many of the congregation.

You can read the full sermon here:

On the same day, in the evening, he preached at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Preston, Brighton. The congregation was deeply moved as he preached from the verse, “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

In his sermon, he spoke about how the Windrush community were invited by the British to come and to help rebuild the country after World War II.

You can read the full sermon here:

Bishop Leon, who was born in the UK, used his time in Sussex to visit four schools.

During his visit to the schools, he asked the students, “Why are we celebrating Windrush”? He told them, its more than just a date. He said, “900 people of colour were invited to come and help rebuild Britain after World War two.

He told them, Windrush people came from the Caribbean and other parts of the Caribbean as British citizens with British passports. They contributed as nurses, doctors, factory workers, bus drivers and many other professions.

They have also contributed to the rebuilding of areas using their skills. He spoke of some of the remarkable people who made positive contributions: Mary Seacole, Garfield Sobers, Bob Marley, Brian Lara, Dwight York, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Anne Frazer Pryce.

The students were saddened to hear that the Windrush Community faced racism in this land. They learned that according to the Book of Revelation, people of all nations and tribes will be living together for eternity. He said; “It is best that we learn to live with each other as brothers and sisters now.”

The pupils were given plenty of food for thought which will stay with them for many years and, hopefully, encourage them to become staunch advocates of racial justice. He expressed the hope that his visit would further affirm the contribution of the Caribbean people, remind us of the history and guide us to work for a better future for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Bishop Leon concluded his talk by saying that there is no space in the Christian Gospel for racial injustice or discrimination of any kind. He said, “through this event and other events we can build a Britain in which people of all colours are accepted and treated equally and that the contribution made by other people of colour is affirmed and celebrated.”

The final visit of Bishop Leon was to the Brighton General Hospital, where he was accompanied by Bishop Martin. He was delighted to talk with the staff at the hospital. He affirmed the contribution of the Caribbean Community in all fields but particularly in the medical field. Bishop Leon’s visit concluded with a special Jamaican lunch at the hospital.

Bishop Leon also made time to meet with the Racial Justice Officers Martha Mutikani and Godfrey Kesari. They were encouraged in their Racial Justice work.

Godfrey Kesari, said, “In conclusion, Bishop Leon helped us to learn that the work of racial justice is part and parcel of the good news of God in Christ and it should form an integral part of Christian Ministry.

“We thank Bishop Leon for his contribution, as he gave each one of those whom he met in church, school or hospital, a clearer and better understanding of Christian life in our multi-cultural world. We hope that his message of equity, justice, joy and hope will spread throughout the diocese through all who spent time with him, interacted with him and listened to him.”