Lichfield Cathedral will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day with a programme of services and performances in remembrance of the 6 million Jewish people and others who died during the Nazi persecution, and subsequent genocides.
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27th January each year the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. The 'Death Gate' at Auschwitz is pictured above.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a date to reflect on those who were murdered or whose lives were changed forever by the acts of genocide, both during the Second World War and the subsequent tragedies that have taken place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Dr Michael Ipgrave, says: It is very important for the Church to remember the Holocaust and the horrific persecution of the Jewish people in the Second World War.
At a time when anti-Semitism lurks again in different guises, it is salutary to remember how many churches and Christian leaders failed to stand in solidarity with Jewish people at the time of the Holocaust. As we reflect on and learn from history, we must always be aware of the vulnerabilities and needs of members of minority communities.
It will be a privilege to share a platform with friends from the Jewish community at this significant memorial event on Friday.
Lichfield Cathedrals programme of events will start with a session in the Nave, taking place between 10am and 12pm for students from around the diocese and will feature presentations from Ganza Gahizi Dieudonne, a survivor of the 1994 mass genocide in Rwanda, Dr Martin Frisher from Keele University and an ambassador from the Holocaust Educational Trust. This will be accompanied by readings and music including a live performance of pieces from Schindlers List.
At 12.30pm there will be a Eucharist dedicated to the memory of those killed in the Holocaust and all genocides. All are welcome.
Then at 1.30pm, Bishop Michael, chair of the national Council of Christians and Jews, will give a lecture in the Nave, where he will be joined by members of the Jewish community and to which all are very welcome.
This will be followed by a special Evensong dedicated to Holocaust Memorial Day at 5.30pm.
The evening will end with a free showing of the film The Pianist, the Roman Polanski adaptation of the memoir of Wadysaw Szpilman. This will take place at 7.30pm in The Old Stables, The Close. Places are free but must be booked in advance by calling 01543 306240.
More information about Lichfield Cathedral and the programme of services and events for Holocaust Memorial Day is available by visiting the cathedral website.