Press release written by Gerry Lynch of Salisbury Diocese
Holocaust Memorial Day Marked
28 Jan, 2018 01:49 PM
Report from one Salisbury church as HMD 2018 is commemorated around the Diocese and the world
Holocaust Memorial Day Marked
Commemorations for Holocaust Memorial Day were held around the region on Saturday and Sunday, including one at a Salisbury Church.
The non-religious event, An Exposition of Despair and Hope took place in St Thomas’ in Salisbury to commemorate those murdered in the Holocaust, including six million Jews, as well as millions of Poles, Russians, gypsies, gay men, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents.
Attended by over a hundred people, it was organised by the musical organisation Multitude of Voyces and featured music, song, and readings, under the theme for HMD 2018: The Power of Words.
The event was attended by John Glen, MP for Salisbury (Conservative), Clare Moody, MEP for the South West and Gibraltar (Labour), Cllr John Lindley, Mayor of Salisbury, and members of the public of all faiths and none. Award-winning Salisbury flower-arranger, Michael Bowyer, constructed a specially commissioned floral tribute to those persecuted under the Nazi regime.
The Revd Kelvin Inglis, Rector of St Thomas’, Salisbury, said, “We are shaped by the stories we hear and the stories we tell. The Holocaust narrative of brutality and agony must awake in us a desire to stand with all who suffer and to strive for peace.”
Louise Stewart, Director of Multitude of Voyces, who organised the event, “Today was an opportunity to bring together amateur and professional musicians to make this commemoration happen, and show solidarity with our Jewish friends and all victims of persecution.”
Ilana Natelson-Carter, a member of Salisbury’s Jewish community, said, “Holocaust Memorial Day is about moving forward, remembering the past and learning about the present to inspire us to stand up against hatred whenever we encounter it in our own lives.”
Canon Guy Wilkinson, Inter-Religious Affairs adviser for the Diocese of Salisbury said, “Holocaust Memorial Day has become increasingly important in recent years as we see ever more clearly that the virus family of antisemitism, racism, hatreds, ethnic cleansing and genocide, is alive and well in the human body. The Shoah/Holocaust witnesses to us what the ultimate mutation of this virus looks like and we do well to ensure that our congregations and parishes are fully aware of it and understand what it means for the way we conduct our lives.
“Amongst other things it requires that we remember that our words have power and that we examine them carefully for traces of the 'teaching of contempt' for Jews that paved the way for this catastrophe.”
John Glen MP said. “It was a very moving service, which helped focus my reflections on the enduring challenge of how to respond to genocide today and the pathways that lead to it happening.”
Clare Moody MEP said, “It was important to be here to remember with a purpose. We have to commemorate this every year, to focus on making real the pledge ‘Never Again’. Genocides don’t happen in an instant, they happen over time.”
Cllr John Lindley, Mayor of Salisbury, said, “It was a very powerful and emotive service, which made me think about the importance of the words we politicians use and the responsibility all of us have not to engender hate.”