The UK’S foremost national faith leaders of the Anglican, Jewish, Catholic and Muslim faith communities have written in support of the Government’s plans to build the UK Holocaust Memorial and Education Centre next to Parliament.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of Westminster, Chief Rabbi, and the Chair of the Mosques and Imams Advisory Board have written to council leaders today (1 August) pledging their support for the project to be placed at the centre of British political life.
Citing the recent increase in intolerance and hate crime, Cardinal Nichols, Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Senior Imam Qari Asim, welcomed the Government’s plans and emphasised the ‘profound message in the choice of location’ for people of all faiths. They also praised the design and plans to enhance the green space on the proposed site for future generations.
In a separate letter, Archbishop Justin Welby spoke of protecting the ‘memory of the thin line which distinguishes us from the atrocities of the past. Memory comes from experience and education. Experience is deepened by symbolism. The symbolism of this centre, right next to the home of our democracy is profound and hugely powerful.’
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“In the same week that new figures show antisemitic incidents have reached a record high in Britain, it is right that this country’s faith leaders have united behind our plans to build a Holocaust Memorial in the shadow of Parliament.
“This project is a priority for this Government and our Prime Minister, and as Communities Secretary I am determined to see it delivered, so that we send a clear message that there is no place for hatred in our society.
“Building this powerful memorial at the heart of our democracy will ensure that politicians never lose sight of what happens when prejudice goes unchecked and to remind us of our responsibility to root out the cancer of antisemitism, wherever it exists.”
The letters were sent to Westminster County Council today with the following signatories:
- Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
- Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols
- Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis
- Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Chairof the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board and Senior Imam