Lincoln church chosen as Holocaust Memorial Day host

A Lincoln church has been chosen as one of 70 special Holocaust Memorial Day hosts across the UK, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

St John the Baptist on Ermine in Lincoln will be handed a commemorative candle created by a world-renowned artist in order to mark the anniversary.

As part of a national initiative, the church will light the candle in a moment of reflection honouring the survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

The service will begin at 3.45pm and local teacher Miss Jessica Howell will light the candle at 4.30pm on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Jessica visited Auschwitz as a student at the local high school several years ago and became a student ambassador, giving talks to her fellow students and to local groups about her visit and the issues it raises.

She is now a qualified teacher at a local academy teaching RE and is passionate about engaging children in discussing issues around the Holocaust.

Jessica also arranges and leads the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service at St John’s.

The event at St John’s, which will also involve local schools, faith groups and community groups, was chosen from hundreds of applications sent to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the charity responsible for marking Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Event organiser, Fr Stephen Hoy says: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important focal point in the year and we are delighted to have been selected to be part of this nationwide commemoration. It is vital that we remember and reflect upon the horrors of the past, and honour those who survived.”

The special candles will also be lit at a national commemorative event in central London and at Auschwitz as part of international commemorations taking place on that day.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, says: “Our designer has created a beautiful candle to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

“When all 70 of their candles are lit throughout the country, it will be a poignant moment of remembrance and a time for us all to ensure we keep the memory alive.”

People can follow The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust live events on Twitter using @hmd_UK and #hmd2015.