Windrush: Looking Back, Looking Forward At CRE National

THE IMPACT of the Windrush Generation on the UK church will be a major focus at CRE National (12-14 Oct, Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey).

The programme will be presented by Roy Francis, a former BBC TV Songs of Praise producer, music consultant, and author of Windrush and the Black Pentecostal Church in Britain (Filament Publishing).

‘The Empire Windrush brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to Tilbury docks to work in the UK and an estimated 500,000 people followed within 30 years,’ said Francis. ‘There are a lot of misunderstandings about it all and CRE National is the ideal place to celebrate what Windrush Christians brought to Britain and the impact their inheritors – African Christians – are now having on the country.’

Windrush: Exploring the Legacy will take place over three days at CRE National.

Part 1 – Windrush: Words and Song (11.30am, Tue 12 Mar)

The first presentation will look back at the music Caribbean Christians brought to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s and will feature the Ken Burton Singers, an international choral and orchestral conductor, singer, and instrumentalist, who arranges extensively for BBC TV’s Songs of Praise and The X Factor.

Part 2 – From West Indian to Caribbean Christianity (12 pm, Wed 13 Mar)

Ordinary workers, pastors, nurses, teachers, and students came to help rebuild post-war Britain and brought their liturgy, music, and songs. Rev Les Isaac OBE, of the Ascension Trust and co-founder of Street Pastors, will show how West Indians established their churches in Britain – and assess their legacy.

Part 3 – African Churches and Their Worship (2 pm, Thu 14 Mar)

Why are there are so many African-led churches in Britain today? What do they believe, what is their purpose and why are they growing so fast? What is ‘reverse mission’ and why is it central to their theology? Rev David Shosayna, former Regional Director of The London Baptist Association and a speaker, theologian and African minister, knows this church community intimately and will offer many answers.

‘I was privileged to study theology in the 70s with the late and much-missed Joel Edwards CBE who came to Britain from Jamaica when he was eight years old,’ said CRE owner Steve Goddard. ‘Everyone involved in our initiative knew and loved him and we see Windrush: Exploring the Legacy as a fitting memorial to his life and influence.’

Often dubbed the ‘ideal church show’, CRE National will feature resources from more than 170 exhibitors, covering financial management, fund-raising, new technology, live streaming, publishing, mission, youth and children’s work – and much, much more. Expert advice will be on hand in more than 50 seminars and special features.

Aware that many potential visitors are keen to come to CRE but Covid-cautious, the organisers have moved part of the exhibition from the main Surrey Hall to the Esher Hall below – allowing the creation of wider aisles. Other safety measures will depend on government stipulations at the time.

Entry to the exhibition costs as little as £3 by booking in advance (£8 on the door).

  • CRE National 2021 at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey opening hours: Tue 12 and Wed 13 Oct, 10am-5pm; Thu 14 Oct, 10am-4.30pm. Visit for more information. 
  • For more information contact Steve Goddard 0161 240 4500 or 07930 198209 or Dave Hall 01282 459498 or 07745 388599.

Written By:  Steve Goddard

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