April / May - 2020 Vol. 109

High Wycombe Holocaust Repentace Service 2020

Changing Our Future by Confronting Our Past
A report on a recent Holocaust Memorial and Repentance Service held in High Wycombe, England on January 29 2020

by Dominic McDermott

Dominic McDermott is a team member of the European Network of Communities (ENC) and the ENC Coordinator for Prayer & Intercession. He is also involved in the Towards Jerusalem Council Two (TJCII), a global ministry seeking to reconcile Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus. He leads a small ecumenical covenant community, called The Source, in High Wycomb, England, and is active in a local ecumenical House of Prayer which meets weekly to pray for the town. The following report details how the Lord led him to help initiate an ecumenical Holocaust Memorial and Repentance Service which took place on January 29 2020 in High Wycombe, England.
 On January 29, the Holocaust Memorial and Repentance Service was held in the large All Saints Anglican Church in High Wycombe, England. This event was hosted by the vicar of the church, Rev. Hugh Ellis. Fifteen years ago, Rev. Tim Butlin (Anglican vicar of St Peter’s Loudwater) had the vision to hold a repentance service for England’s expulsion of the entire Jewish population of High Wycombe in 1234 AD.
In November 2015, I received a prophetic word that “now is the time” to resurrect the idea. This historical expulsion in 1234 had left a spiritual cloud over the town that had never been dealt with. After many years of preparation, in 2019 I received another word that this repentance would allow the Lord to pour His Spirit out upon the town. A sign of this outpouring would be the restoration of a stream in a local park that had been dry for more than two years. As the date for the Repentance Service drew closer, my wife reported that the stream was flowing. I went to record it in my prayer journal.  I found my last entry from a few days earlier was that I had “dreamt last night that the stream was back!”  This and other signs led us to expect great things of this service and the night was no disappointment.

Dominic McDermott at Holocaust
                              Memorial Service in High Wycombe, England
Dominic McDermott (at the podium) addresses the Ecumenical Service

More than 300 people from 50 different churches gathered to hear about historic anti-Semitism and its root in replacement theology at a service entitled “Changing Our Future by Confronting Our Past.” Others who attended included the mayor, our local Member of Parliament, the deputy Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff (the Queen’s representatives in the area), since the expulsion had been on the order of King Henry III. I spoke about the root of anti-Semitism in Christianity and replacement theology up to the Reformation, including High Wycombe’s contribution to England being the first entire nation to expel all it’s Jewish population in 1290. Dr. James Patrick (a TJCII UK member and European theology coordinator) showed how this anti-Semitic root led to the Holocaust. A personal response was read aloud from Catholic Archbishop Kevin McDonald, who sadly was not in attendance due to sickness. These messages were followed by Rabbi Janet Darley on anti-Semitism today and Sheikh Dr. Ramzy on Islamophobia today.
Christians in the congregation were invited to stand for a declaration of repentance for past racial and religious hatred. Then Edwin Shuker, Vice Chairman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, gave a moving response of gratitude. After this, the congregation was invited to stand up for a joint declaration of our intent to stand together in the future as brothers and sisters. A framed copy of this declaration was presented to Mr. Edwin Shuker. We later discovered that Shuker had cancelled an opportunity to speak in Parliament that evening in order to be with us. He considered it so important an occasion! We thank God for making all this possible and pray for much fruit from the event in the future.

We are already looking to plan another event of repentance for the 1222 Synod of Oxford’s 800 anniversary in two years time. We hope that you will stand with us in prayer as we continue to labour for the Lord and the vision of reconciliation that TJCII brings for Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Messiah.

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