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Archdeacon reflects on visit to Auschwitz with Archbishop

In January the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, joined the Archbishop of Canterbury on a retreat to Auschwitz-Birkenau for three days of prayer and theological and scriptural reflection on the reality of evil. 

The Archdeacon was one of several members of the learning community on the retreat - clergy from across the Church participating in continuing professional development and senior leadership training.

The group gathered to consider the issues of human evil (how we recognise it and how we respond) on the run-up to the annual commemoration: Holocaust Memorial Day. 

Archdeacon Michael and other members of the group have now written reflections on the visit which is featured on the national CofE Tumblr blog here.

You can also hear the Archdeacon talk about the visit on BBC Radio Lancashire here. Listen from 19m 45s. (Available until February 27, 2017).

Archdeacon Michael also writes about the experience in the forthcoming edition of the Diocesan magazine 'The See'. Here is an extract ...

The day we spent in Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau did not get above -14C and we had the luxury of winter clothing. 

Those who had been transported there from all over Europe (including the British Channel Islands) were forced to wear the grey and blue uniform of shirt and trousers with wooden shoes and nothing else. 

More than 1.1 million people were killed at these camps, many killed on arrival. Over 6 million were murdered in all during the Holocaust.

My grandmother was Jewish, if the war had gone differently she and my father would have perished in such a place and I, and my children, would not have existed. 

The retreat forced me not just to consider life and death or matters of evil and how it occurs, it also forced me to look at existence itself.

Read the full article in 'The See' ... available in parishes across Lancashire from late February.

February 2017

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