Black History Month

06th October 2023

A number of our cathedrals will hold services including Southwark Cathedral where a thanksgiving service will take place on Saturday that will highlight the faith and legacy of the Windrush generation, following the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush in the UK.

Cathedrals join Black History Month

At Bristol Cathedral is also marking the Windrush anniversary with photographic exhibitions – A Voyage Through the Generations, by the photographer Jim Grover, following on from his Windrush exhibition in 2018 and Pioneers by the photographer Garfield McKenzie, documenting the Windrush generation in Bristol.

Visitors will be able to hear Kat Lyons, the Bristol City Poet for 2022 to 2024, read the poem When you visit a relative’s house, to mark the Windrush anniversary which is on a screen inside the cathedral.

The Church of England’s first Racial Justice Director, Revd Guy Hewitt will address the congregation at the service marking the Month on Saturday at Chichester Cathedral.

At Liverpool Cathedral, the Black History Month annual service will be held on Sunday October 15 with the theme of honouring the service of black women.

At Sheffield Cathedral an Evening Eucharist will be held on Sunday October 29 and the Cathedral will use liturgy for Black History Month at its Morning and Evening Prayer each Friday during October.

Manchester Cathedral will hold the annual commemoration day for the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson on October 26. Clarkson, a Church of England deacon, hosted the first mass meeting to abolish the slave trade in Manchester Cathedral in 1787.

Bradford Cathedral will be hosting the Journeys of Hope exhibition of Ugandan Asian migration stories, alongside stories from the Windrush community in the city during October and November.

The Revd Guy Hewitt said:

“I thank God that so many Cathedrals and churches are marking Black History Month, a moment to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of black people to British economy, culture, and history. I also look forward to the gathering of Global Majority Heritage and UK Minoritised Ethnic community, which is long overdue.

“The Report of the Church of England’s Anti Racism Taskforce recommended that a culture of change is required if the Church is to live up to its mandate of being a body where all the gifts of all its people flourish to the full, for the benefit of the church as a whole, the nation of England and the greater glory of God.”

Coventry Cathedral is screening ‘Being Blacker’ as part of its Chapter House Cinema series for Black History Month on 26 October at 7pm.

This Action Rayz screening follows the story of well-known reggae record shop owner and music producer, Blacker Dread, his extended family, friends and the wider Brixton community. The film focuses on a tumultuous time in Blacker’s life: the death of his mother and the prospect of his first prison sentence.