Year 13 RS students along with their RS teacher, Mrs Gemma Pinches, visited London on Thursday 22nd November. The group were joined by Merthyr college RS and Geography students. The purpose of the excursion was for students to visit the Central Gurdwara in Notting Hill, to enrich their study of the Sikh faith as part of their A Level study.
The Central Gurdwara is the oldest Gurdwara in Europe which was formed in the year 1908, to promote religious and social activities among the Sikhs who had settled in the UK from India during and after the partition of the Punjab.
All students partook in a seminar led by two Sikh custodians – who discussed key aspects of the WJEC specification to help prepare for their exams. The custodians spoke with passion and spirit about their history and custom and were engaging with the students. Pupils were able to ask questions in relation to the A level WJEC specification on Sikhism, which will help them in their classroom study.
Whilst in the Gurdwara Pupils were expected to adhere to the rules and regulations that all members of the Sikh community follow and showed their utmost respect to the religious practices.to rules set. Pupils listened to a reading form the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book) and experienced the manner in which Sikh worship takes place through the day in the Diwan Hall.
After the seminar and worship experience pupils took part in the Sikh offering of Langar (Every Gurdwara has a langar hall where all people are welcome to a free meal regardless of their sex, colour or religion. There are no rituals observed in the langar and everyone eats together. All the food is vegetarian so that no religious group is offended and is prepared with self-less service) The Central Gurdwara shares Langar with approx. 60-100 non-Sikhs, every meal time, from the Notting hill area who are unable to afford food for themselves, any individual or family in need are welcome. The Gurdwara also serves 600 homeless people every evening from Monday-Thurs, using their food truck and food made from the Langar Kitchen.
Students then has an opportunity to tour the area of Notting hill and visited the famous book shop from the ‘Notting hill’ film, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, they also visited the magic shop from the Paddington Bear film franchise.