On the 75th anniversary of the Windrush migration to Britain, known as Windrush Day, Bishop Paul McAleenan, our Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, expressed his hope that future generations of migrants will be welcomed in the UK and offered the chance to create a better life for themselves.
On 22 June 1948, the HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain, carrying hundreds of passengers from the Caribbean who went on to help rebuild the UK after World War Two.
Bishop McAleenan said: “On this important anniversary, we celebrate the Windrush generation and rejoice in their contribution to our society, including in many Catholic parishes.”
In 2018 it emerged that many of the details of the Windrush generation had not been correctly recorded and some who had been granted permission to stay in the country, were deported.
Bishop McAleenan said he hoped this mistreatment wouldn’t be repeated in the future.
He said: “We pray that lessons have been learned from the injustices that this generation experienced and that new arrivals will be welcomed and offered the opportunity, as Pope Francis says, ‘to be agents of their own redemption’.”
Earlier this year, the Department for International Affairs produced a document on migration, titled “Love the Stranger”, presenting a Catholic response to refugees and migrants.
Love the Stranger offers 24 guiding principles for how to respond to refugees and has been endorsed by the Holy See, COMECE, CAFOD, CSAN and Caritas Social Action Network members.
It can be read here: cbcew.org.uk/love-the-stranger/