Church pleased with virtual Holocaust Memorial service response

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021-Norwich Civic Virtual Service

Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas speaking during the Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 civic virtual service - Credit: St Peter Mancroft

Organisers of an online Holocaust Memorial Day service have welcomed the response. 

St Peter Mancroft Church took part in the global commemorations on Wednesday to remember the Jewish victims who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War. 

Various video clips were collated for the online service, including contributions from the Holocaust Memorial Trust. 

The online service was introduced by the Red Dr Fiona Haworth of St Peter Mancroft and included a message from the Lord Mayor of Norwich Vaughan Thomas. 

Wensum Junior School produced artwork which was shown during the service, while Notre Dame High School pupils also contributed to the Statement of Commitment at the end. 

Speaking after the service, Dr Haworth said: "We were pleased with how it went. We felt we started planning quite early on for it to be online.

"We were very pleased people were able to contribute from the local community including schools. They did a brilliant job under the circumstances."

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Discussions for how the service would take place began in the autumn, and Revd Haworth said the church was pleased with the numbers who watched the service. 

She said: "It worked really well. Having conversations with the synagogue, I heard elder members found it easier to engage with because they are very frail and find it difficult to travel into Norwich.

"So they actually found it very useful to be able to watch online and just click into it.

"A lot of the elder members do enjoy the online services and take part in virtual coffee mornings." 

During the service, the Lord Mayor said the Holocaust commemorations are all the more real for those with family or friends who have lost their lives to Covid-19. 

Similarities were drawn up between the "inconceivable" and "unimaginable" realities of the current pandemic and the Holocaust.

Mr Thomas continued: "I know of the Holocaust, but I do not truly know it. I did not live through it, how could I truly know what it was like. 

"The death, destruction, inhumanity and terror meted out to about nine and a half million of the European Jewish community by the Nazis was unimaginable and might also have been thought inconceivable before it happened."