Provincial press releases

Holocaust Memorial Day

Churches, parishes and chaplaincies are being invited to mark Holocaust Memorial Day later this month.

The day, on January 27, remembers, not only the Holocaust of the Jewish people at the time of World War Two, but subsequent Genocides from the more recent past: Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. As well as being a day on which the dead are remembered, it’s also a day when the living can learn lessons for the future, with a view to preventing the recurrence of such atrocities in our own lifetimes.

This year’s theme is The Power of Words and its focus will be helping people to reflect on the role words play, both to harm and to heal, to destroy and to build, in society today. Many organisations will be holding events to mark the day, ranging from simple candle-lighting ceremonies to postcard-writing activities, conferences, concerts, plays, reading events and exhibitions.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, will attend the National Ceremony in Cardiff City Hall and give the blessing at the end of event. He says,  “The Holocaust is certainly one of the most vile and shameful examples from the catalogue of events which disfigure the history of the human race. Commemorating both it and its victims, whilst also recognising the terrifying perversity of those human minds which enabled such an atrocity to be devised and implemented is something which I wholeheartedly support.

“The persecution of any individual or group of human beings because of their race, religion or ethnic origin can never be justified. Remembering the Nazi’s attempt, by means of genocide, to mercilessly extinguish the very existence of such a group of people from certain parts of Europe is to recall events that must continue to be brought to mind in all their detail and in all their horror. The commemoration is not only appropriate, it is essential, because those events must never be forgotten.”


Richard Spencer, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Wales support worker, is urging churches to get involved. He says, “Because religious identity has often been used to foment division and discrimination in past genocides, the HMD Trust encourages faith organisations, in particular, to use the day as a means of presenting the positive values and practices they share together. Whether the resulting event be a simple gathering of two or three for quiet contemplation, or a more ambitious venture, it would mark an important point of resolution at this, the start of the New Year, and be a powerful symbol of our hopes and efforts to make a better, kinder, society.

“HMDT provides a wide range of free resources to help in planning and arranging such commemorations, and these can be ordered directly on-line (see below) or downloaded – they are all free. I am also available to help for any aspect of any event that you may arrange, so please do be in touch. HMDT would very much like to receive news of your plans, or to receive reports of the events that do take place. Your event does not have to be held on January 27th itself, but ideally, should take place in the week before or following January 27th.”

Useful Links:

Activity Packs for Organisers:

Get Involved – the HMDT guide for faith/interfaith groups :

The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)  resource pack of liturgical and homiletic material for use in worship for HMD 2018, based on the theme ‘The Power of Words’:

Faith Resources

School/Education Resources:

HMDT Wales Support Worker: Richard Spencer:    Phone: 07535 524334