Religious Studies: Year 8 Trip to Neasden Temple
On a rainy and cold December morning, Year 8 set off for a traffic ridden journey to Neasden.
Their destination? One of the most impressive and awe-inspiring places of worship in the country; the famous Neasden Temple, or Mandir.
Despite a long journey up, the children (and teachers) could not fail to be impressed by the sheer size, intricacy and beauty of the Temple complex.
A masterpiece of traditional Hindu design, and exquisite craftsmanship, it was competed in 1993, and is one of the most important centres for Hindu worship in the country.
After an initial welcome, and a video describing how the Temple came to be built, the children then went up to the daily 'arti' service - the highlight of the day.
A service of thanksgiving to God, this is a truly multi- sensory experience, with music, chanting, candles, and incense complementing the worship of colourful deities.
With all this happening in the beautifully carved Temple space, it was difficult not to be affected by the atmosphere.
This was variously described by children as 'colourful and emotional', and 'spiritual and unique'.
The children then went on to look around a detailed, yet accessible exhibition on Hinduism, followed by a superb and thought-provoking question and answer session with one of the Temple staff.
The children asked excellent questions and were a credit to the school; interested, thoughtful and polite.
Many of us will remember the ringing of bells, music and chanting, the beautiful marble carvings, as well as the atmosphere of peace and spirituality that suffused the visit.