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'Windrush Stories'

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Windrush Stories are the stories of a group of Christians who through their faith, perseverance, resistance, hope and determination, succeeded against all the odds. They are stories of a group of people who came to Britain from the Caribbean as Christians in the 1950s and 60s. In these stories I explain the country they came to, show how they lived, the problem they faced, the religious climate they found, and how, as Pentecostals, they came with their faith, their music and how they started their churches. Music was very important to these early Christians and it played an important part in their worship. In the early days in their churches they sang hymns and choruses. I explain the origins of these and chart their development from Caribbean Church music to British gospel music as we know it today. I also show how many of these choruses have come down to us through the ages as songs of resistance. They were not merely worship songs, but songs that contained coded messages like those of the ‘Spirituals,’ during the time of slavery in America.

'Windrush Stories' is also a personal story, for like the young boy in the picture -although my shirt would have been buttoned up properly- I came to Britain to meet my parents and saw and experience at first hand, many of the things I write about. In these stories I recount some of my childhood experiences, for example growing up in a Black Pentecostal home, going to school in Britain as part of the first generation of Caribbean children and I show how my school experience, impacted on my future prospect.

In the 1980s, another important migration took place of equal importance in Britain and I tell this story also of African Christians coming to Britain. I'll explain why they came, what attracted them to the country, highlight their successes, lists their achievements and suggest some of the likely challenges they are going to face in the future, now that they are at the forefront of the Black Pentecostal Church movement in Britain.

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