Six hundred candles in the shape of the Star of David will be lit at York Minster on Thursday 24 January in memory of more than 6 million Jewish people murdered by the Nazis in the Second World War.

The act of commemoration is part of a week-long programme of events in York to mark international Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on the 27 January each year.

The date marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – the largest Nazi death camp - in 1945.

“This commemoration allows people from across York and beyond to come together to remember and reflect on the horrific events of the Holocaust, genocides and persecutions on a worldwide scale.

“Hearing the words of people who experienced this unimaginable cruelty and depravity helps us to honour and pay tribute to their courage and resilience, while encouraging positive actions to create a safer future.”

The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, Canon Chancellor at York Minster

The event at York Minster will begin with a Choral Evensong service at 5.15pm which is attended by representatives from York’s Jewish community and other faith communities.

This will be followed by a procession to the cathedral’s Chapter House for the act of commemoration, which also includes readings, music, poetry, prayers and periods of silence for quiet reflection.

The international theme for HMD 2019 is ‘Torn from Home’, which encourages people to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call home is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.

HMD 2019 will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, which began in April 1994 and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Genocide in Cambodia, which ended in 1979.

For further details about the York Minster event visit www.yorkminster.org.