Churches and synagogues unite to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at St Mary-at-Finchley

Worshippers mark Holocaust Memorial Day at St Mary-at-Finchley

Worshippers mark Holocaust Memorial Day at St Mary-at-Finchley

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Congregations from ten churches and synagogues in Finchley joined together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Eighty people attended the service at St Mary-at-Finchley in Hendon Lane on Sunday.

Churches Together organised the event, which included prayers, music and dancing as well as
a testimony from Holocaust survivor Eve Oppenheimer who was rescued from Bergen Belsen in 1945. Both her parents died in the concentration camp.

Describing why Churches Together began hosting the service five years ago, committee member Lynn Radnedge said: “It all began when one of our congregation Erika Maylam approached me a few years back and asked why we didn’t have a Holocaust commemoration in a Christian church.

“Erika was the youngest of five siblings who came to England with the Kindertransport in 1939. Their Christian mother was married to a Jew who was killed by the Nazis.

“We vowed to continue it as a tribute to Erika, who lost her battle with cancer just over a year ago, and to bring all our communities together in prayerful reflection.”

The evening ended with a performance by a group of young Israeli dancers from Finchley Progressive Synagogue.

Candles were lit for all victims of persecution and genocide and then a giant cake was cut by Eve Oppenheimer.

Mrs Radnedge added: “The evening was a wonderful success but it served to highlight what a responsibility we have in our homes and communities to sow seeds of peace, love and tolerance and respect for our neighbours whatever their faith or ethnicity.”

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