“We did not do justice in the past, we do not do justice now, and unless we are radical and decisive in this area in the future, we will still be having this conversation in 20 years time and still doing injustice,” he added.
He said that in 1961, the family was barred from entering St Peter’s Church in Walworth, south London, because of the color of their skin.
“Doreen’s family suffered a horrible, humiliating racism which still affects Doreen’s relationship with the Church even today,” he said. He added that while the Browne family eventually found a parish church they were welcomed in, many who arrived from the Caribbean didn’t and ended up leaving the church as a result.
“That is a scandal of our own,” he said.
The Windrush generation
They were invited by the UK government to come and help rebuild Britain after the devastation of the war. Hundreds of thousands of people came from former British colonies. Until a new immigration law came into force in 1973, Commonwealth citizens and their children had the automatic right to live and work in the UK.
When successive British governments adopted a tougher approach to illegal immigration in recent years, descendants of these first immigrants found themselves under scrutiny.
The government adopted new laws in 2012 that require employers, landlords and health service providers to demand evidence of legal immigration status.
“We have damaged the Church, we have damaged the image of God and most of all, we have damaged those we victimized, unconsciously very often,” Welby said.