This Black History Month’s theme ‘celebrating our sisters’ encourages us to particularly recognise the contribution of women of colour to our city’s life.

Gayle Farrell Perry (left) and Jenny Jefferies (right) are churchwardens at St Mary’s and St John’s Isleworth, West London.
Below, we hear from Jenny and Gayle about their life and work.

Jenny writes:
Hello, I’m Jenny Jefferies. I’ve been a churchwarden since 2021. I live with my husband Mike and we’ve been attending St John’s for over 16 years. I work for the BBC and I’m currently a television news director. When I first started in technical operations, I was only the second black person in the department and women had, for the first time, been promoted to the next grade. At times it has been a struggle for equality, but with God’s grace I’ve had a long career, and on/off screen diversity is noticeable now and I met my husband at work! As churchwarden I’m responsible for the church and grounds, being a representative in the link between congregation and clergy and to help us build our faith in God. So I ask for your prayers and support in helping me achieve this.

Gayle writes:
Hello, I’m Gayle and I probably arrived at St Mary’s at a similar time to when Jenny started attending St John’s! I met my husband Stephen at St Mary’s and we were married there in 2019. Last week at St Mary’s I shared from the front some of my struggles with becoming a qualified solicitor, partly because of my race and gender. By God’s grace I have been able to overcome these obstacles and am “happy” in my role as a criminal defence lawyer today. Please pray for me in my role as churchwarden and as part of the leadership of St Mary’s as we explore what God has in store for us here. And please pray for me as I am now starting a process of exploring ordination in the church, as well!