'The Power of Words' is theme for Holocaust Memorial Day

Residents / 17 Jan 2018

The suffering and sacrifice of millions of people killed in genocides, including the Holocaust, will be remembered at a poignant service in Peterborough.

The Holocaust Memorial Day event takes place at St John the Baptist Church, Peterborough on Thursday 25 January 2018 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. Each year, the service has a different theme, with 2018’s being ‘The Power of Words’.

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.

The event will start at 11.40am when Year 9 drama students from St John Fisher Catholic High School perform in Cathedral Square.

Also at 11.40am, the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Fox, will lead a procession from the Town Hall to St John’s Church, for the service, pausing at Cathedral Square to watch the service.

On arrival at the church, the service will begin at 12noon 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 contributions from young people across the city including students from St John Fisher Catholic High School, The King's School, Marshfields School and Youth MP for Peterborough Ayesha Khan.

Other speakers include Janet Berkman from the Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community, Maqsood Ahmed from Muslim Hands and Petr Torak from the charity COMPAS, speaking on behalf of the Roma community.

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 John Fox, said: "This poignant service will give everyone the chance to come together and remember the victims of genocides throughout the world. We must never forget these atrocities and continue to share their stories 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.

"We encourage people to attend the memorial day events to reflect and make their own commitment to help end persecution and inequality."