We gathered at the Blackley Centre for a brief introduction to Sikhism and to clarify arrangements for our visit to the gurdwara. Then we set out for the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Huddersfield where we were made very welcome by Jas, the Education Officer. Our visit started with a visit to the Punjabi School which is held each Saturday morning. We met three young people who each gave a brief presentation about different aspects of what it meant for them to be Sikhs. It was great to chat with them and we had some interesting discussion about baptism in Sikhism and Christianity. It was a high point of the day. Then we toured round the school meeting three different classes of children and their teachers. We visited the large prayer hall where we saw the Sikh sacred scripture, which is the Guru Granth Sahib, which was on a low platform covered by a canopy. There are no chairs and worshippers sit on the beautifully carpeted floor.
We had a lovely lunch provided for us in the large kitchen and dining area, where quite a few Sikhs were also eating. This was followed by a powerpoint presentation on Sikhism with many questions and much discussion with Jas before concluding the visit. It had certainly fulfilled the aim of enabling us to understand Sikh beliefs and practices and understand the role of the Gurdwara. Those on the visit all found it very helpful, commenting, ‘it was fun and informative’, ‘an eye opener’ and ‘enlightening’.