This photo is of my Granny Carmen Allen.
Carmen, my mother in law, accepted the invitation to come to the ‘mother country’ from Jamaica. People were told they were needed. She arrived in England in 1960.
She trained for three years hoping to become a nurse
Just before her final exam Carmen was told that despite her seniority that she was inferior to that of her junior colleagues. Carmen refused to accept what she had been told, collected her belongings and left.
She challenged injustice and inequality wherever she found them.
The strength and determination of women like Carmen brought to light racism in British society and institutions, including the Church.
In 1968 Carmen married Edward, my Grandad, here in this Church.
38 years later I married Carmen’s son, Richard here. Carmen worshipped regulalrly here at St Chrysostom’s. She found it to be a place of inclusion, welcome and faith.
I hope people today can be like my Granny – caring and loving in families and challenging injustice wherever they find it and I know that she is watching down on us.
We have produced a book giving the stories of over 50 different people connected in some way with the church. The book contains an expanded version of this account of Carmen. Copies, £4.50, are available from Church. (For more details, including a list of those included please click here).