We were delighted to be able to take along two groups of Christians from neighbouring churches – Mosaic Church and Trinity Methodist Church – to meet some of their Hindu neighbours at Shree Jalaram Prarthana Mandal.

We were invited to go along to celebrations in honour of the Saint’s birthday, held every year, with lots of worship, singing and sharing of food taking place. There was a real community feel to the event, with donations being made to charities and the opportunity to learn about the importance of organ donation (including information about a new scheme being launched in January to encourage Hindus to sign up the donor register – watch this space!) There was also a double decker bus that had been transformed into a travelling museum/information centre about Indian soldiers who fought during World War I.

For some Christians, this was their first visit to a Mandir, whereas for others it was their first time visiting this particular Mandir which is so close to their own churches. We were very warmly welcomed by everyone, especially Mr Pramod Thakkar, and would like to extend our thanks to them for such a warm welcome and opportunity to experience this celebration alongside them.