Canon Andrew White,
International Director of Coventry Cathedral, today led members of the House of Lords in a
service of repentance for the treatment of Jews in this country.
As Jews and Gentiles we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, yet for 2000 years
the divisions between us have resulted in Christian arrogance and persecution of the
On 1 November 1290, the Jews were banished from this nation for nearly 400 years, by
order of King Edward I. These attitudes and events and the prejudice that fed on them led
in the twentieth century to the first attempt to eradicate a people by industrialised
Thousands fled the holocaust to Israel, but even then Britain imposed immigration
quotas and barred the way home for the Jewish people at their hour of greatest need.
The service today will be a public confession of Christian fault before God and the
Jewish people in the very place where exclusion of the Jews from our national life began.
This Presentation of Solemn Declaration is being hosted by Simon Rufus Isaacs, the
Marquess of Reading, and will be addressed by Janina Fischler Martinho, a Holocaust
survivor and author.
There will be a confession that much of the Jewish persecution originated from within
the Christian Church, and the congregation will join together in saying the Lords
Prayer, and the Aaronic blessing.