The Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral marked Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday, January 27, with a very moving special service. 

Choral Evensong was incorporated with readings relevant to one of the world's greatest man-made tragedies. Bible readings and hymns in which the congregation could join.

The choir sang a seemingly difficult anthem. The choristers and organ were inspirational thanks largely to the professionalism of John Challenger, organist and Master of the choristers. 

Salisbury Journal: Worshippers sat behind the choir.Worshippers sat behind the choir. (Image: Antony Miles)

During the service, six candles were lit to represent the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime. Other genocides such as Rwanda and Cambodia were also remembered. 

Nobody could have left that service untouched by a truly sacred experience. 

My friend Jenny visited the Holocaust museum in 1996. The first encounter is the Hall of Remembrance - a dark, open building with a raised perimeter inside which acts as a walkway.

On the floor are the names of all the countries where Jews were persecuted & in the centre is an open fire which never goes out. Surrounding the fire are upright shards of blackened metal.

From here we entered the children’s room where five candles stood centrally & each one was magnified 100,000 times by the clever user of mirrors.

The effect of 500,000 lights, like stars completely immerses you. Each one represents a child murdered.

The whole experience was extremely powerful and very moving. As we walked around, a sombre voice read the names of each child.

Nobody spoke as we returned to the coach as we were all completely overwhelmed by it all and the magnitude of the evil committed.

Antony Miles,


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