Windrush Generation photos celebrate local lives at St James, Clapham

19 October 2018

Written by: Lambeth Council

Arts, culture and events - Focus on Clapham

Windrush: Portrait of a Generation captures the lives of the generation of Caribbeans who came to live in Lambeth 70 years ago, and their families. Now it is on show in a Clapham church central to the community.

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Windrush Generation photos celebrate local lives at St James, Clapham

Church leaders are hosting 80 photos of the lives of local people from the Caribbean in churches in Clapham and Angell Town for Black History Month. The pictures reflect everyday life – including the church as a centre for the community.

Q: Which photos inspired you to have the exhibition in your church?

A: The image of Monica Blair standing in the streaming sunlight under the banner which reads ‘Be Still and know that I am God’, is very evocative. It’s a powerful photo and speaks so well of Mrs Blair’s quiet yet strong faith. Trevor Neil’s portrait speaks of a quiet dignity that he always has, even with the dominoes leaping in the air, is very dynamic. I love the graveside photos at Mrs Bailey’s funeral -they speak of a positive and celebratory way of dealing with death, and the photo taken outside Mrs Williams house during the nine night after she died shows the community coming together at a time of need.

Q: What does the Windrush generation bring to the community that makes it important to celebrate them?

A hard working ethic. This generation helped rebuild Britain after the Second World War in a major way, they played a huge part in the establishment of the NHS, they were heavily involved in constructing our buildings and transportation among other things. They also brought a committed and strong faith which has enriched, inspired and served our churches, not just the Church of England.  They have made such a needed and positive contribution to modern Britain and that should be recognized.

Q: How does the church bring generations together?

They are brought together to worship, specially All Age worship, on a Sunday and specially at Easter and Christmas. They also come together when we have Messy Church, a service based around crafts, activities, games, and food. They are also brought together when we have social activities, such as Film and Pizza afternoons and Quiz nights.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr. Sonia Winifred Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture said: “We’re delighted that, in Black History Month, 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”.

For more information