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Jamaican independence celebrations marked in London

THANKSGIVING: Part of the audience at the Jamaica Independence Thanksgiving Service in Westminster

JAMAICANS IN the UK kicked off celebrations to mark the island’s 54th Independence anniversary with the annual Service of Praise and Thanksgiving at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, Westminster, London on Saturday, July 30.

The service started with the entrance and presentation of the Jamaican flag by two members of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association, followed by a welcome to the Emmanuel Centre by host Pastor Peter Loo. The children of the staff and friends of the Jamaican High Commission recited the National Pledge.

Over 800 guests from a cross section of the community gathered for the service where they listened to a message from Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and witnessed a Dance of Praise choreographed by noted Jamaican dance master Jackie Guy.

Jamaica’s new Deputy High Commissioner designate, Ms Angela Rose-Howell, who takes up her post this week, read the Independence message to the congregation.

SERMON: Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin delivering the sermon

Holness’s message urged Jamaicans abroad to reaffirm their commitment to playing a part in addressing the physical aspects of Jamaica’s national life by always raising issues of concern.

In her sermon Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Chaplain to her Majesty the Queen, reflected on an eventful year. She spoke about the migrant crisis in Europe, the recent ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests terror attacks in Europe.

She said: “These events highlight that we are living in a world of them and us. It is only in a world where I am human and you are less than human that I can afford to brutally destroy you because you are not like me. In this world there is no compassion. This is a contrast to the gospel readings where Jesus showed compassion when he was confronted by the large crowd.”

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