Reflecting on the heritage of Methodism and the Windrush Generation

Norman Mullings arrived in Britain from Jamaica in 1958, aged 18. 

In this interview, Norman, now a member of Harlesden Methodist Church, shares his experience of being a young black man having recently arrived in the UK.

The local Methodist church in north west London Norman visited more than fifty years ago is now a thriving, multicultural community where all are welcome. 

The Methodist Church has recognised its past failings around race and diversity and, in 2021, the Methodist Conference confirmed the implementation of the Justice, Dignity and Solidary Strategy to ensure that the Church continues its journey of change.

As we come to the end of Black History Month, this year marking 75 years since the arrival of the Windrush at Tilbury, The Revd Dr Reynaldo F. Leão-Neto, Global Communities Officer, offers this prayer that he shared at the London District Synod.

When someone knocks at the door in need of welcome
At home or in church
What shall my prayer be?

Loving God, who calls us to love as you love, perfectly
We regret that time and again there has been a lack of welcome
In your church for those who are from a different country, culture or language
In particular, when the Windrush generation arrived in these Islands

Jesus Christ present amongst us in the person of the migrant
We give thanks that we should be so blessed by your presence
So enriched by you remaining in our midst and our hearts burning within us
So touched by our gathering together now in honour and fellowship

Spirit of God, whose dynamism re-creates the world and the church
We rejoice that the ‘new’ arrivals never gave or give up on Methodism
That now there are so many of a different heritage and background in the church
Bringing a diversity to be cherished and loved

Triune God, around the table – gather us
As one people, your people
From all nations and ethnicities
To worship you in love for each other