Bishop of Winchester Launches Groundbreaking School's Project
Bishop of Winchester launches groundbreaking schools’ project to promote peace, forgiveness and reconciliation
The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, has today launched a new schools’ project for Holocaust Memorial Day.
With the support of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, this new project will enable schoolchildren to learn about the importance of promoting peace and tackling hatred in society. Bishop Tim has asked every Church of England school in the Diocese of Winchester to participate in activities designed to support these themes over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year. The focus of the project is ‘Standing Together’, based on the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2020: Stand Together.
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Part of the project will focus on remembering what happened during the Holocaust, featuring prayers and other activities to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2020. The activities have been carefully designed to ensure that children of all ages can participate and learn about the importance of promoting peace.
Each school has also been invited to create a ‘Peace Pole’ over the course of the year, and to bring them to Winchester Cathedral in June 2020 to be displayed at the end of the academic year.
Although individual schools have undertaken activities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in the past, this is the first time that a Diocesan-wide partnership has been established.
Launching the project, Bishop Tim said:
“In recent years we have seen a rapid rise in antisemitism. It is so important that we teach our children to tackle hatred and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and indeed with any marginalised community. I hope that children in all of our Diocesan schools will participate in the activities throughout the year, and emerge with a better understanding and commitment to promoting peace in our world.”
Jeff Williams, Director of Education in the Diocese of Winchester, said:
“At a time of political, social and environmental turbulence, church schools are asked to become places and agents of social transformation. This year we want children in the Diocese of Winchester to learn from history, and develop new ethical practices that promote peace and unity for the future. Through the programme of activities which we have developed, we hope all of our students will emerge from the year with a renewed desire to stand alongside people from all different communities.”
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to be working with and supporting this project with the Diocese of Winchester. It’s fantastic to see their commitment in asking every school in the Diocese to get involved. Holocaust Memorial Day is a time to commemorate the lives of those murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in genocides which have taken place since, and 2020 will be particularly significant as we mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. This inspiring initiative will enable young people in the region to learn lessons from the past and create a better future. We are looking forward to hearing about the events and activities which take place in participating schools to mark this milestone anniversary year.’