The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, Bishop of Willesden, has led a racial justice pilgrimage across London, from Waterloo to Notting Hill to mark Black History Month.
The 8 mile-long pilgrimage began at the Windrush Memorial at Waterloo Station, which honours the thousands of people from the Caribbean who passed through this station on their arrival in the UK. From there, Bishop Lusa and over 50 pilgrims walked across London to commemorate a selection of groups and individuals who have fought for racial justice.
Stops throughout the day ranged from Bob Marley’s former house to Mary Seacole’s statue outside St Thomas’ Hospital to St James’ Piccadilly, where they have been commemorating the 250th anniversary of the baptism of Quobna Ottobah Cugoano. To mark this anniversary, Trinidad-based artist Che Lovelace has created a variety of commemorative artworks.
The pilgrimage ended at Notting Hill where the group explored the origins of the Notting Hill Carnival, visiting All Saints Road, and Westbourne Park, to remember the racial attack and murder of Kelso Cochrane in 1959. The final stop of the pilgrimage was Grenfell Tower, where the group remembered all those lost in the tragedy.
The Rt Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, Bishop of Willesden commented:
“As we mark Black History Month and celebrate the impact of black heritage and culture in London, it is also important to remember the immeasurable contributions of individuals and communities across the capital who fought against racial injustice. We do so, acutely aware that racism remains a stain on our church and society, marring all our lives.”
“It was inspiring to see so many people from different backgrounds and communities come together to take part in this journey of lament and praise. From Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano to Claudia Jones, we paid tribute to the faith, courage and resilience shown by those who have challenged racism and discrimination, and still do to this day.”
“As we commit to walk the path to Racial Justice together, we need to name the asymmetry in our experiences and aspirations. Though we walk together, some of our companions journey in shoes that are unbearably uncomfortable. The one hope I hold, is that this walking together compels us to look and journey in the direction of Christ and his promise of a world reconciled, where every nation, people and language belong together.”
Written by: Esther Stewart