Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury was proud to welcome senior member of the Armed Forces, the Royal Navy’s Rear Admiral Graeme Mackay, on Wednesday 24th February. His visit follows on from the Army Chaplain General, Reverend Dr David Coulter’s visit to the Mandir last March – both with the aim of strengthening the ties between our community and the British Armed Forces.

Although RAdm Mackay’s visit was kept largely informal, given Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s strong history of supporting the Indian military, the leadership at Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury was keen to carry that mandate, and formally welcomed our visitor with a flower garland and an auspicious chandlo.

RAdm Mackay was given a guided tour of the Mandir and the facilities at Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Complex. Thoroughly humbled and impressed by the “breath-taking” Mandir and its community, the Admiral wrote back saying, “The sheer commitment and determination of the community shines out from the temple…The community DNA exudes from the building…This temple is a beacon for generations to come”.

Hindu Service personnel accompanying the Admiral were Surg Lt Cdr Manish Tayal (Royal Navy), WO1 Ashok Chauhan (Army) and Sgt Shiv Chand (RAF) – all friends of the Mandir having already celebrated with us during the Grand Opening in August 2014.

The Mandir will continue to build and maintain our links with the UK Armed Forces, and looks forward to welcoming and working with friends from the Services in future.