Published: Tuesday, 19th January 2021
Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked in King’s Lynn this year with a special filmed service featuring readings from a variety of faiths across West Norfolk.
As with so many events over the last few months, the service has had to be adapted in light of the current pandemic which has prevented the usual gathering that attracts more than 150 people to the Town Hall every January.
This year footage of the recorded event will be available on the YouTube platform of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk at noon on Wednesday, January 27. The date marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and the service, will include a reading by the Borough Mayor Geoff Hipperson, West Norfolk Borough Council leader Brian Long and members of various communities in West Norfolk.
Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Geoff Hipperson, said: “The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day is light in the darkness and this has a relevance to the current situation.
“In the midst of this terrible virus there is a huge core of people working and volunteering with kindness, care and generosity that far exceeds examples of selfishness.
“Similar individuals, groups and organisations are represented to remember the horrible cases of cruelty and genocide in the past and promote the rejection of prejudice and racism at present, and in the future. “
This year’s theme, Be a Light in the Darkness, is reflected in the readings at the service which will include poetry and an original piece from a member of the local Jewish community which will be joined by representatives of other faiths, including the Muslim and Christian congregations.
St Martha’s RC school, in Gaywood, has supported the event every year and has sent in a recording of a reading and a song for the multi-faith service which will be led by Fr Adrian Ling, parish priest of All Saints Church. There will also be a reading from PC Lee Anderton, Western District Engagement Officer.
“We were determined that there should be a service to mark this important date and hope that by bringing it online we can reach as many people as possible. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau was chosen as the day for the nation to reflect on man’s inhumanity to man and offers the hope that lessons can be learned for the future,” said a spokesman for the local Jewish community.
The day is also a time to reflect and remember those who have been murdered in subsequent genocides including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
A wreath will be laid at the tree in King’s Lynn’s Tower Gardens which was planted for the first Holocaust Memorial Day service 20 years ago.
The Holocaust and subsequent atrocities should not be consigned to history without comment. The language of hate and prejudice must be challenged by all of us and by standing together we can create a safer future for those of all faiths and none.
The film will be available to watch at noon on Wednesday, January 27 and can be found on this link: www.youtube.com/WestNorfolkBC/
Each year thousands of activities take place around the UK to mark the date and more information about Holocaust Memorial Day can be found at the website www.hmd.org.uk