City to mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Residents are invited to remember the suffering and sacrifice of millions killed in genocides including the Holocaust, at a service in Peterborough to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The event takes place at St John the Baptist Church, Peterborough on Wednesday 27 January 2016 at 12 noon.

Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated worldwide on January 27 and for a number of years Peterborough has held its own service as a public and inter-faith act of remembrance.

The memorial day remembers the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and the millions involved in genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur. January 27 marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

At 11.40am on January 27, drama club students from St John Fisher Catholic High School will stage a performance in the Guildhall in Cathedral Square.

Then, at 11.50am, the Mayor's attendant will lead a procession from the Town Hall to St John’s Church for the service, pausing at Cathedral Square to watch the performance.

On arrival at the church, the service will begin with a welcome address from Reverend Canon Ian Black, Vicar of St John’s Church, followed by a series of readings and pieces of music.

The service will include contributions from students from St John Fisher Catholic High School and representatives from numerous Peterborough communities.

The Mayor will give an address before the service concludes with the laying of a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in St John’s Square.

After the ceremony, light refreshments will be served in St John's Church.

The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is a significant event in the world's calendar. The events taking place in Peterborough will give us all the chance to remember the victims of genocide.

"It's important that we reflect on the atrocities of the past and share their stories with future generations. It's the best defence against history repeating itself."

Brian Gascoyne, Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Committee, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for people across Peterborough to come together. We value the involvement from school pupils, members of community, faith and non-faith groups, representatives from the city council and the wider community.

"The theme this year is 'Don't Stand By', and will focus on the fact that the persecutions of the past were made possible because the wider population did nothing to stop them. It is hoped that focusing on this uncomfortable truth will empower people to prevent it happening again.

"We encourage people to come along to the memorial day events to reflect and make their own commitment to help end persecution and inequality within our own communities."

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