Plymouth Centre for Faiths & Cultural Diversity


27th January 2022

2022 Theme: One Day  –  Public event – The Peace Garden on the Hoe

Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity is working, again this year, with Plymouth City Council to help organise HMD in January.

This important time of reflection will be held in the Council House Reception Room with the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Terri Beer in attendance, together with  Council Members and invited guests. As usual, there will be a range of people invited to speak and offer their reflections from the assembled audience. Due to limited numbers and Covid restrictions, this event is by invitation only. 

This will be followed by a public memorial event in the Peace Garden on the Hoe to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 27 January at 11.15am. A special Tree planting (through the auspices of the Association of Jewish Refugees) will be held in the adjacent garden, to honour the family of Professor Frank Land who fled Berlin in 1939 with his parents and twin brother. The family later settled in Devon. The tree will also honour the late Solly Irving, holocaust survivor, and his outstanding contribution to Holocaust education in Plymouth schools over a sixteen year period.

For information on Plymouth City Council Website, please visit here

Our centre founder Jonathan Marshall had published this article on Plymouth Herald on 29th January 2022

Holocaust Memorial Day – we must remain vigilant

Thursday 27th January was Holocaust Memorial Day, in Plymouth and across the country people gathered in towns, cities and schools to remember. To look back at what happened in the heart of Europe during the Second World War. Designed, on an industrial scale, by highly-educated and sophisticated leaders, who aimed at no less than the complete annihilation of Europe’s Jewish people. It is unimaginable that by the end of the war, six million Jewish men, women and children had been killed.

But it is not just about looking back, although that is where we must begin. It is about remaining aware and vigilant today. Holocaust survivors shared a nightmare, that one day it could happen again. Tragically, it has; in different countries and on different scales but tragedy and terrifying loss is always exactly that, for anyone who suffers it.

Freedom and democracy have been hard won, as the horrors and death counts of the twentieth century demonstrate. When we take these freedoms for granted and fail to appreciate their value, then slowly and imperceptibly, things can change. In Nazi Germany it began with control of the media; dissent and protest, pillars of a free and democratic society, were forbidden. Nothing was allowed to challenge the prevailing narrative and poisonous ideology, “for the common good.” It became impossible for those witnessing what was happening, to speak out. Those who did were immediately ridiculed, denounced and silenced for ever.

The antidote we must hold onto is our common humanity. The late Lord Sacks said, “We are as big or as small as the space we make for others who are not like us.” When we “other” or “cancel” someone, for views and beliefs we do not share. When we ridicule, demean and deny others respect, we edge that bit closer, to something unimaginable. We must dig deeper into our human and spiritual resources to ensure that it cannot happen again.

“If liberty means anything at all,” said Gorge Orwell, “it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Jonathan Marshall MBE

Religious Adviser


*Plymouth Centre for Faiths & Cultural Diversity (PCFCD) is excited to be able to offer schools the following ONLINE session to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) *

Lessons for the Holocaust – Learning from Solly Irving

This 1 hour ONLINE session will be run by Jonathan Marshall MBE and will be available on selected days from Friday 22  January – Friday 05 February 2021 in the first instance, other dates available on request.

Each session can be run via Zoom or MS Teams (hosted by the school) with up to a maximum of 60 students (classroom-based or dial in), at a cost of £100 (subscribing schools) or £120 (non-subscribing schools) per session.

This session is only suitable for students in Year 6 or above and it is important that students have a good understanding of the context of the Holocaust within the Second World War in advance of these sessions.

Sessions will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and have limited availability, so please get in touch at your earliest convenience if you would like to secure a place!

This session can be provided for groups, churches and others interested in deepening their understanding of these darkest of times and the vital lessons for today. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries regarding either of these sessions.

Download the PDF brochure of the session from HERE


2021 Theme : Be the light in the darkness

“HMD does not ask us simply to remember on a specific day each year.  It’s about what we do once we have learnt the lessons of the past.  When you commemorate HMD – in whatever way that is – the challenge to each of us is to let those lessons inform our behaviour, our language and the way in which we treat those who are different to us.  HMD asks us to make a difference to the way in which we live our lives now and in the future.”

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

The Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity has worked closely with the Plymouth City Council each year, since Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) began in 2001, and this year, together with Sound View Media, we have created a short film of reflections, in response to the theme; Be the Light in the Darkness.

You can also view the film on the Council’s dedicated page for Holocaust Memorial Day:

(Last updated on 31st January 2022)