Birmingham Cathedral marks the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush

On Sunday, we held a special service of Choral Evensong at which we marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948. We were delighted to welcome The Right Reverend Claude Berkley, Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago, to preach at this service.

We invite you to join us in a prayer written for this occasion.

A Prayer to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival on HMT Empire Windrush

Faithful God, when the ship set sail and the waves were high, your love was with those whose hopes and dreams lay across the ocean deep. They came in search of new possibilities, to a strange and forbidding land. They came equipped, educated, and willing. All knowing God we remember those who came from so far to rebuild the motherland. In this service we commemorate their bravery, integrity and resilience as your people navigated a new path. Be with us now as we honour and celebrate the riches of your kingdom. The complexity of your creation, the rich tapestry of our modern culture, made richer by its diversity and the contributions of those who came in search of a better life.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

God of our Redemption, the Empire Windrush carried a generation to a land that was not always kind. Rejected by church and state, denied access to accommodation, job opportunities, and equal pay. Labelled and abused, but you are an omnipotent God, and you strengthen the hands and hearts of those who put their trust in you. Bless those who struggle with your strength. Look with favour at all who strive to make your world a place of hospitality and welcome. Here the prayers of those who cry to you for mercy as we deal with everyday discrimination.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Life-giving God, you know that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, you asked us to embrace each other as brother and sister, yet so often we fail to see you in the faces of others. Yet, when we toil and sweat to build your kingdom. We are made one. Forgive us only for this short vision of your paradise. We pray for all those who have been victims of the Windrush scandal. Men and women who have spent their entire lives in this country only to be forced into a life of poverty, robbed of family, identity, and home. Give us eyes to see the injustice done in this world people are rejected, when justice is denied, and compassion is forgotten.

Lord hear us, Lord graciously hear us.

Holy God, God of our generations as those first pioneers, trod the streets of a foreign land and enjoyed much, we celebrate their invincible spirit, and we give you thanks that these men and women stayed and made this place their home. As they passed the baton of hope to those children and their children’s children, we gave you thanks and acknowledged that even in the darkest of times, you were with us. Help us to put our trust in you, the source of all our strength. Make people willing and able to invest time and energy in building up this nation. Recognising the contributions of all and striving for the equality promised by the coming of Christ. Look with favour on your people and bless all our works, that they may be to the glory of God.

Merciful Father, Accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Birmingham Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2QB


0121 262 1840

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