Residents are invited to remember the suffering and sacrifice of millions of people killed in genocides including the Holocaust, at a service in Peterborough to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
This year's event has the theme 'How can life go on?' and takes place at St John the Baptist Church, Peterborough on Thursday 26 January 2017 at 12 noon and will include readings from young people and representatives of local communities.
Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated worldwide 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 26, drama students from St John Fisher Catholic High School will stage a performance at the Guildhall in Cathedral Square.
Then at 11.50am the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Sanders, 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 feature more contributions from young people than ever before, including students from St John Fisher Catholic High School, The King's School, Marshfields School, The Voyager Academy and Youth Councillor Oliver Sainsbury.
Other speakers include Imam Hafiz Zia Rasool from Faizan e Madina Mosque, Chris Porsz and Assistant Chief Constable Nav Malik from Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
Members of the public are invited to follow the Mayor's party to the wreath laying ceremony in St John's Square.
During the laying of the wreath Chuck Salamon of the Hebrew Congregation will read the Memorial Prayer for the victims of the Holocaust and Mourner's Kaddish in Hebrew.
The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Sanders, said: "The Holocaust Memorial Day service taking place in Peterborough will give us all the chance to come together and remember the victims of genocides throughout the world.
"We must never forget these atrocities and the people that were killed and must continue to share their story with generations to come."
Brian Gascoyne, Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Committee, said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for people across Peterborough to come together. This year's theme, 'How can life go on?', will focus on what happens after genocide and our own personal responsibilities in the wake of such evil.
"We encourage people to come along to the memorial day events to reflect and make their own commitment to help end persecution and inequality."