Worcester Mayor Steve Mackay will host a Holocaust Memorial Day event in the Guildhall on Saturday 27 January at 10.30am. The event will feature students from local secondary schools and is being organised by the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum for the fourth year running.

Barbara Winton will give a talk at the event. Barbara’s father, the late Sir Nicholas Winton, has sometimes been described as “a British Schindler” for his work organising the Czech and Slovak Kindertransport in 1939 which rescued endangered children from the Nazi threat. Barbara will be talking about her father’s work and legacy.

Mayor of Worcester, Steve Mackay said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a special day. One of remembrance of those who lost their lives and a time when we are reminded of the actions of those who brought about that loss. I am very pleased to be able to host this ceremony at the Worcester Guildhall this year and hope that many will attend on the morning.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is organised nationally by the Holocaust Memorial Trust, and 27 January marks the day in 1945 when the death camp at Auschwitz was liberated. Nowadays it marks not only the Holocaust, but the other tragic events which are officially recognised by the UN as genocides: Cambodia’s killing fields, the massacre of Bosnian Muslims, the Rwanda genocide, and the continuing present-day genocide in Dafur.

The Revd Doug Chaplin, a co-organiser of this inter-faith event and a development officer in the Diocese of Worcester, said: “We remember the past, in order to commit ourselves to build a better future. This year’s theme, concentrating on ‘The Power of Words’ seems particularly powerful in today’s media and political climate. Historically, the Nazi party and other genocidal regimes have dressed their propaganda up as truth, while dismissing the truth as ‘fake news’. They have used words to make people hate and demonise others for being different. This year, we are encouraging the opposite: to invite people to think about what they say, and to use words to heal, reconcile, and build community.”

This year, the event is being supported as well by Worcester’s biggest landlord, Fortis Living, who are encouraging their staff and residents to join in this community event rather than holding one of their own.

Tom Piotrowski, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Fortis Living explained: “Holocaust Memorial Day is not only about remembering the past, but also about making sure that such horrors never reoccur and that prejudice, bigotry and hatred have no place in modern society. As a housing association, we want to encourage our communities to live peacefully with each other in an environment of help, support and encouragement.”

The event, which starts at 10.30am on Saturday 27 January, is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and people may want to come and share the commemoration at the Guildhall, as a break in their Saturday morning shopping. There is no charge.

ENDS

The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.

Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516
Email: ssetchell@cofe-worcester.org.uk