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World News

Durham Cathedral turns purple in memory of the Holocaust

by Ros Mayfield

Purple floodlights are lighting up Durham Cathedral on two consecutive nights, as part of the church’s marking of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).

From dusk on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January, Durham’s largest building will be one of the many institutions across the UK, illuminated in lilac.

The lighting up at Durham is part of a series of events the Cathedral is putting on to mark the occasion. 

A talk on Friday, was hosted by Robert Rinder MBE, alongside Bernie Graham and Charlotte Lane.  Rob and Bernie were part of the award-winning documentary series ‘My Family, the Holocaust and Me’, which helped British Jewish families trace the stories of the generations before them, who experienced the Holocaust.

Charlotte Lane is one of the leaders of the UK wide-school project The Holocaust, Their Family, Me and Us, derived from the documentary series. 

The Cathedral has also given space in their Galilee Chapel, for an exhibition to help people learn more about the Holocaust, in a joint project with Durham County Council.  Artwork created by students from Belmont Community School and St Leonard’s Catholic School is being shown alongside the exhibition.

At 8pm on Saturday 27 January people across the UK will light candles to take a stand against prejudice and hatred today, and remember all those who have been “murdered for who they are”, in a moment referred to as ‘Light the Darkness’.

In 2023, London’s Piccadilly Lights displayed portraits of Holocaust and genocide survivors in the lead up to the national moment, and the screen lit up with a commemorative candle, while a group of genocide survivors watched from the ground.

For the first time this year, a digital vigil will take place across the nation’s billboards – lighting 6 million digital candles for 6 million lives lost during the Holocaust.

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