King Charles III officially inaugurated the new Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Luton and interacted with the volunteers who prepare the langar and also listened to the kirtan with members of the British Sikh community.
The 74-year-old monarch toured the gurdwara’s kitchen this week and was shown where hot vegetarian meals are prepared daily and was also briefed on the work coordinated with a pop-up COVID vaccine clinic during the pandemic. He also sat together with community leaders in the Diwaan Hall of the gurdwara to hear the kirtan and hukamnama from the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’.
British Indian Professor Gurch Randhawa, a member of the local Sikh congregation and Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire who greeted the King at the gurdwara, described the visit as “hugely auspicious”.
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Prof. Randhawa said: “His Majesty King Charles III, respecting Sikhi, entered and exited Diwaan Hall with kirtan playing live, sat down and listened to the hukamnama from ‘Guru Granth Sahib Ji’.
“He met our humble volunteers who cook 500 meals per day during the week, and 1,000 meals per day during weekends, our healthcare volunteers who ran pop up COVID vaccine clinics, our Luton Sikh Soup Kitchen volunteers who serve 150 meals outside Luton Town Hall every Sunday – all of these services are accessed by all faith and ethnic communities. The king also met children who are learning kirtan and heard them play a Shabad. All in all, a joyous occasion which I was honoured to host.”
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While on the royal tour of Luton, the King also took a ride on the city's new energy efficient Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) service.