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UK Archbishop Of Canterbury Visits Hounslow Sikh Temple

Jan 7, 2005
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Archbishop of Canterbury visits Hounslow Sikh temple

Oct 19 2011 By Robert Cumber




THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury visited a Sikh temple in Hounslow this week to talk about the importance of inter-faith relations at a time of 'nerves' and 'suspicions'.

Dr Rowan Williams, the principal leader of the Church of England, dropped in at the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, in Hanworth Road, Hounslow, on Tuesday (October 18) morning.

He spoke to an audience of religious leaders from across the borough and beyond about the strong bonds linking people of different faiths.

He said Christianity and Sikhism shared many values, like the importance of equality, hospitality and taking risks to defend others.

These shared beliefs were more important than ever, he told those gathered, in the current political climate.

"We're in a world where hospitality seems very difficult to many people. Once a very hospitable society, we in Britain have become less hospitable in some ways in recent years," he said.

"We've become more nervous, more suspicious about the foreigner, about the refugee, and yet there's something in our culture, some sense of that religious heritage, that pushes us back towards that vision of hospitality."

Dr Williams also praised the example of 17th century Sikh leader Guru Tegh Bahadur, who sacrificed his life to defend the right of Hindus to practice their faith in India at a time when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was trying to forcibly convert his subjects to Islam.

He later took questions from audience members, with the mood lightened at one point when a jet thundered overhead as a woman asked about the importance of silence in faith.

He was also given a brief tour of the gurdwara, before being presented with gifts, including a saropa (a length of cloth), a book of prayers and a commemorative plaque.

Kiran Rawa, of the gurdwara, also spoke at the event, about the history of Sikhism. She said talking to people of different faiths had always been a key element of the religion.

source:
http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2011/10/19/archbishop-of-canterbury-visits-hounslow-sikh-temple-109642-29622383/
 

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