Our Year 4 class had a wonderful trip to the Broadlands area of Preston yesterday, to visit the Masjid E Saliheen Mosque and the Gujarat Hindu Temple, as part of their RE learning about world faiths.
They began their visit at the Mosque, where the Imam gave them a tour of the beautiful building; showing them all the gorgeous Arabic calligraphy of the 99 names of Allah and the different parts of the Mosque. They had a chance to look at the Quran, the Islamic holy text, and hear the 'call to prayer' and even watch him pray. It was a really informative and interesting session, which reminded the children about the Muslim rules for living: The 5 pillars of Islam, and talked about the things that our religions have in common.
We then visited the Gujarat Hindu Temple, where our guide introduced us to the priest, who put a bindi dot on our heads, as a blessing. We were then shown all the shrines to the various Hindu deities, including Krishna, Ganesh, Hanuman and Shiva. They were extremely colourful and our guide explained how the priest washed and dressed them every day, as part of his rituals. We heard some stories of the Hindu gods, then had the opportunity to chant, sing and play instruments too. The whole experience was extremely spiritual and enlightening.
We then had the opportunity to visit the Year3/4 children from St Stephens C of E School, who are situated next to the temple, and the children and staff made us very welcome. It was a wonderful opportunity for our children to make friends with children from a wide range of cultures, faiths and ethnicities, as St Stephens is a very multi-ethnic school, which represents modern British society. Both classes had a lovely time spending time together and are going to be penpals in future.