St John Plessington Catholic College

Holocaust Memorial Day at Chester Cathedral

On Tuesday 23rd January a selected group of year 8 and 9 pupils went to Chester Cathedral to celebrate Holocaust Memorial Day. They joined with pupils from a number of schools in the North West to take part in a variety of activities anchored in memories of the Holocaust.

The day began with a warm welcome and introduction from the Acting Dean of Chester, Canon Jane Brook. We then had an insightful talk from Holocaust survivor Joanna Millan. In her speech she focused on the notion of marginalised people with a particular reference to her own experiences as someone who had been through the Holocaust and lost her family at a young age.

Following that, pupils took part in interactive workshops which allowed them to integrate with pupils from other schools. In these workshops they engaged in activities about famous historical characters that were associated with the Holocaust such as Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom. They also had an opportunity to take part in a joint artwork based on ‘The Power of Words’ a key theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.

On arrival back at school pupils were asked to reflect on the day’s event. Below are some of the comments from pupils about their experiences of the day.

“What I enjoyed most about today was listening to Joanna’s story as I found it very brave [of her] to speak about something so traumatic. She is so inspiring to many people.” Cameron Clarke – 9JB

“As a young person I was overjoyed to meet a holocaust survivor. It was inspirational.” Niamh Lester - 9SB

“Today I thought that Joanna’s story was really interesting. It made me feel how lucky I am not to experience anything like Joanna did.”  Edward Cartmell – 9MK