22nd June 2023 is Windrush Day. This moment is being marked by a major ecumenical service which acts as a moment to remember the (ongoing) struggle of the Windrush generation and celebrate their successes and the way they have revitalised this country. Find details of the service at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal shares a reflection for today:
Seventy-five years ago, today Windrush arrived in Tilbury Dock London. It carried people from the Caribbean responding to a call to help rebuild the “motherland.” Ensuring scandals of injustice have been hidden and buried, only beginning to emerge now.
Other sea vessels are also in our minds today.
The Titanic, the largest passenger ship when it was launched, sank over one hundred years ago carrying many economic migrants from Britain who were seeking a better life elsewhere. 1500 people died when it sank. Today the Titan submarine, with five wealthy tourists onboard, is missing from its journey to catch sight of the Titanic. There is now a huge rescue effort underway.
This contrasts with the horrific refugee boat tragedy, last week. Over five hundred people are presumed drowned in the Mediterranean, where some types of search and rescue are illegal. Estimates suggest 50,000 people seeking sanctuary have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea over the last decade.
Closer to home, the death toll of refugees crossing the English Channel is unknown. While the UK Government policy of ‘stop the boats’ is well known.
We are mindful of all in peril on the sea. We are thankful for all who, despite obstacles, put energy and effort into search and rescue. We build peace because every life is precious.
by Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal