"Helping people in need is the true spirit of humanitarianism"
- Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj
On Saturday 19th March 2022, Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bolton hosted an inter-faith Community Peace Prayer Vigil to pray for Ukraine in this current crisis. This was attended by members of the local community and special addresses/ prayers were given by Mrs. Diane Hawkins - High Sheriff for Greater Manchester, Madam Mayor of Bolton Linda Thomas, The Bishop of Bolton - Rev Mark Ashcroft, Deputy leader of Bolton Council Mrs. Hilary Fairclough, Mr. Yaroslav Tymchyshyn - Chair of The Bolton Branch of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), Mr. Philip Austin - Bolton Interfaith Council and Mr. Chandrakant Parmar - Bolton Interfaith Council and Chair of Asian Elders.
As part of the Vigil, everyone who attended lit a peace candle each in commemoration of the victims and their families and prayed for the war to end soon. Furthermore, a piper from Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band Bolton played Amazing Grace. The temple shrine was decorated in blue and yellow and many of the attendees wore blue or yellow to show their support. The vigil emanated the principles highlighted by our Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj who preached about putting ‘society before self’. These words were echoed by all who attended, and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the crisis. These sentiments were also echoed by the speakers who lead the prayers.
Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan UK also arranged for a shipment of goods to the value of over £50,000 to be sent to the largest refugee camp in Warsaw Poland and a team of volunteers from the mandir went to Poland to distribute the goods to the people most in need.