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News: Windrush Day 2020

Monday 22 June marks the third Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Docks in Essex carrying the first migrants from the Caribbean. Many of those were ex-servicemen who fought with the UK in the Second World War and had been invitied to a bomb-damaged Britain to fill labour shortages. Windrush Day was established as a celebration to honour the enormous contribution those who made that journey, and others who followed them, have made to Britain.

The annual event was established in 2018 in the wake of the Winrush scandal when many of those invited to Britain suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of immigration laws that, unbeknown to them, had changed around them. Two years on from that first Windrush Day, their fight for justice continues.

Today the Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, the High Sheriff of Surrey, the Leader of Surrey County Council and other civic and religious leaders stood on the steps of Guildford Cathedral at 11 am for a 2 minute silence to mark Windrush Day. The Dean said ‘This Great Britain of ours has been shaped by generations of those who, like me, came from other lands and made this land our own. I commend the courage of those passengers on the HMT Empire Windrush and the families they left behind, and give thanks for their generosity in answering the call to rebuild Britain after the Second World War. I lament the lack of welcome and the continuing failure, in many parts of our nation, for all people to be valued equally. We stand in silence as we consider the part we can play in making our nation one which values the unique contribution of each and every person.”

Added Monday 22nd June 2020