St John’s Angell Town hosts Windrush Generation photo exhibition

2 November 2018

Written by: Reverend Canon Rosemarie Mallett of St John’s Angell Town

Arts, culture and events - Focus on Brixton

Windrush: Portrait of a Generation tells the story of the generation of Caribbeans who came to live in Lambeth 70 years ago, and their families. Churches are a vital part of life in the photographs, and a perfect place to see them.

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St John’s Angell Town hosts Windrush Generation photo exhibition

Two Lambeth Church leaders are hosting photos of the lives of local people from the Caribbean in honour of Black History Month. The pictures reflect everyday life – including the church as a centre for the community.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr. Sonia Winifred Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture said: “We’re delighted that community churches in Lambeth have been able to welcome home to the borough this celebration of the first generation of Caribbean people whose culture has enriched all our lives for 70 years”.

Q: Which photos from Windrush Generation made you want it in your church?

My favourite image is Monica’s front room. It is evocative of the whole era of settlement into the UK and London. There are images of the early days of arrival, and images of family growth. There are images of young people and children as they involve themselves in community life, such as Cubs or in church. Altogether the wall is a collage of life lived fully and it was wonderful to be welcomed into that through this image.

Q: Why do we celebrate the Windrush generation?

The Windrush generation brought colour and flair into quite a drab UK. Everyone comments on their style, but added to that, they came to participate in the life of the country, and despite challenges they demonstrated huge inner strength. They worked hard in building up the nascent NHS, transport services, manufacturing and building industries and even Lyons tea shops. They brought vibrant music and entertainment, reggae and steel pan, and their contributions are now part of our everyday life. They brought their deep faith and joined the Church of England, swelling its worshipping numbers then and now.  Even when some found themselves rejected from their mother church, they founded their own churches which are now a significant part of the Christian tapestry throughout the UK, and especially in Brixton.

Q: How does your church bring generations together?

At St John Angell Town we are lucky to have all ages in church on a Sunday, and we try to ensure that from 8 to over 80 can be involved – welcoming and hospitality, worshipping or helping others in the community. We have a regular Monday session for young families to and find some quiet time. We support our parish school, families and young people, irrespective of whether they attend church, and local community groups such as the one working on the redevelopment of the Boiler House. Lambeth Council is assisting us with our work with local community groups.

Where to see the photos

Windrush Generation: From Nov 1 to Nov 15

St. John’s Church, 49 Wiltshire Road, Angell Town

London SW9 7NE

See the Council’s event pages for opening times