People from across the region and beyond will gather to celebrate Black History Month at a special event at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday 13 October.
The free Walking Together celebration will mark both the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush and the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth.
It will feature a pilgrimage inside the cathedral along with specially-commissioned videos about the experience of black people in local churches and communities in the decades following Windrush.
Prayer stations, songs and sharing, children’s activities and free tea and cake will also be a part of the multi-media event which will run from 2pm to 4pm, with closing worship from 3.30pm. People are free to come for all or part of the celebration.
Black History Month provides an opportunity to commemorate the countless contributions made by generations of African, Asian and Caribbean people to communities in our region.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, will be speaking at Walking Together. “Walking Together has been organised by Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) clergy and laity from across the Diocese as an opportunity to give thanks to God for the many ways in which BAME Christians enrich the lives of our churches and communities,” he said.
“Christianity in our part of the world was born into a rich ethnic and cultural diversity, and in our own times we are finding out again what it means to live, worship and serve together as one People of God embracing people from many different backgrounds.
“We recommit ourselves to ensuring that people of every background know that they have an honoured and assured place in the life of our Diocese. These are significant challenges for us to face but our focus through Walking Together is on celebration.”
The Revd Preb Carl Ramsey, one of the organising team, said: “I’m really looking forward to Walking Together. It is not just about the historical cultural context for those of us who are black or another minority ethnicity, but because it will be a chance for all of us to build up our own networks for peace and justice, think about how we stand up to racism in our communities and pray and worship together.”
Canon Andrew Stead, of Lichfield Cathedral, added: "As a cathedral we are pleased to support Black History Month in this most significant of years when the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and also the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush are both marked.
"Walking Together celebrates and honours the contribution of BAME Christians within the church and we are so privileged to be able to host and support this important occasion in the life of our diocese. We look forward to welcoming the church in all its wonderful diversity to the Cathedral when we can pray, sing and celebrate together our faith in the Lord who prayed that we all might be one in Him."
There is more information here.
A preview video featuring Debbie Parkes, Churchwarden from St John the Evangelist in Pleck & Bescot, Walsall, is below.