Visitor Opinions – Schools (2011)

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I wanted to say a huge ‘thank-you’ on behalf of all the children and adults who came along to see you from St Bede’s School on December 6th. We were amazed not only by the beauty of the Temple, but also by the kindness and warmth of everyone who spoke to us. Having spoken to the children this week, there are many memories that will stay with them for a long time to come – the beauty of the service, the carvings, the privilege of witnessing rituals of prayer, as well as the excellent talk given by the volunteer! The children and us absolutely loved visiting, and have been recommending it to everyone we meet as somewhere very special. Thank you so much again; and we would love to come again next year, if you would have us!

William Bryant
Head of Religious Studies
St Bede’s Prep School
Eastbourne, East Sussex
12 December 2011

Thank you so much for showing us around the Temple last week. We were made to feel extremely welcome by all involved, and enjoyed our visit thoroughly. The boys are still talking about the visit! We are looking forward already to our next visit next year!

Alex Waring
Eaton House The Manor Prep
5 December 2011

On Tuesday 29th November I brought 22 students to visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. The welcome talk and question and answer session that [your volunteer] gave was excellent. He was extremely welcoming and informative, my students gained a lot of insight and were very impressed with the mandir and the time spent there. I will definitely look to bringing a group to visit again as the session was well structured and resourced. I would also like to thank [the Booking Office] who also played a part in the fantastic hospitality we received.

Ellen Tench
Head of Theology and Philosophy
Holy Cross College, Bury
2 December 2011

The Mandir is absolutely stunning! When the children voted on the favourite places they had visited during our 3 day visit to London, the Mandir was the favourite of most. The children loved the beauty of the building, the story of how it was built but also the peace and tranquillity inside. It was a special experience for us all. Thank you for making us so welcome.

Gillian Islip
Huish Episcopi Primary School
Langport, Somerset
18 November 2011

On behalf of the pupils and teachers at Woodford Green Preparatory School, I would like to express our thanks for an excellent visit to the Mandir last Friday. Once again, the children were able to experience for themselves the awe inspiring beauty of the building and the spiritual uplifting of the Arti service. We also liked the new items in the exhibition and the efficiency with which we were shown around. It was pleasure to have our appointed guide to escort us through the various parts of the Haveli and the Mandir, and to help us pace our visit and respect our schedule. With every visit, there is always more to admire!
We would also like to thank… all the wonderful volunteers, each in their respective capacities, who do so much to make the Mandir a welcoming and pleasant place to visit. It is always an eagerly awaited visit for pupils and teachers alike.
Working with the Neasden Community has been an immense pleasure.

Sylvie Curtis
RE Coordinator
Woodford Green Preparatory School
Woodford Green, Essex
7 October 2011

Thank you so much for letting our school have the pleasure of visiting your Mandir. As always it was an amazing experience for both children and adults alike. It provided us not only with an insight to the Hindu faith and the Swaminarayan tradition but also a sense of peace and tranquillity that the children rarely experience with our fast pace of life.

Clare Cook (HLTA Year 5)
Reigate Priory School
21 September 2011

Our Yr5 had the most wonderful time at the Mandir last week – the adults came back saying how fabulous the trip was too. Your hospitality is most appreciated by our school as this visit is a great support to our children’s studies of the Hindu faith. We have visited for several years now and I have never been passed any adverse comments or recommendations for improvement – quite the opposite, only praise and appreciation. Our thanks once again for your kind welcome.

Debbie Selfe
Educational Visits Coordinator
Coteford Junior School
Pinner, London
15 September 2011

I would just like to say what an amazing experience it certainly was today. Having seen the images on the internet to actually seeing it in real life was truly wonderful. Thank you to all involved in making our visit a remarkable trip, one which won’t ever be forgotten. From the moment we set foot in the Temple to coming back it was really magnificent and I look forward to hopefully arranging to bring more groups in the near future.

Faria Nasir
RE Teacher
Selly Park Technology College for Girls
7 July 2011

I would like to start by saying a very big thank you to you and the rest of the Mandir team for my unique experience I received at the Mandir.
Undoubtedly, you have heard this before, but I feel it. Necessary to say anyway that the Mandir was one of the most beautiful building I have ever seen and on top of this, when inside, I felt an unusual sensation of calmness that the Mandir put upon me.
However, it was the Q&A that I particularly found of great interest. I discovered different views on religious topics that I had not considered before and also gained new knowledge just from listening.
Thank you once again for your kindness that made me feel so welcome in the Mandir, I had a very good time.

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School
24 June 2011

Thank you so much for letting us come on a trip to see your temple, we loved the Murtis in the temple. It was interesting to see that how they were treated as people. Their clothes were beautifully designed and very colourful and it was amazing to see how they were carved by hand.
It was fascinating to learn that the temple was built out of 26,000 pieces of hand-carved stone and marble. We were amazed that not a single piece was damaged when the stone was shipped to England, and the fact that it only took 3 years to build. We were stunned to see the spectacular ceiling. We all really enjoyed the beautiful architecture inside the temple.
The service was very interesting and very different from our culture, and the gardens outside were colourful and beautiful. We thought that the exhibition was interesting because we learnt about many new stories from the models, and the stories can teach us lessons about good deeds.
We really enjoyed the trip and we thank you for giving up your time for us, and making us feel so welcome.

Form 4M
High March School
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
22 June 2011

We would like to thank you for our wonderful visit yesterday and to say how much we all enjoyed it. We love coming to the Mandir each year. The new booklet for the museum is excellent.

Christopher Synnott
Senior Master
Garden House School
Chelsea, London
23 May 2011

We had a wonderful time. The students were amazed and impressed not just by the beauty of the temple but the friendliness of the volunteers. They also commented about how much they had learned.

Carol Reaney
Head of Faith and Beliefs
Fitzharrys School
Abingdon, Oxon
9 & 16 May 2011

I just wanted to write and say thank you for the wonderful visit to the beautiful Mandir.
The children of St Hilda’s School were absolutely captivated by its beauty, the peacefulness and the information that they gained from both the Mandir and the exhibition. It was a very worthwhile trip and I would like to thank you once again for your kind hospitality.

Karen Peterman
RE Teacher
St Hilda’s School
11 May 2011

I just wanted to thank you for the excellent trip we had to the Mandir last Tuesday. All the children loved it and it gave a real boost to our studies on Hinduism. I look forward to arranging another trip with you in future.

Leanne Cull
Teacher of Religious Education
Midhurst Rother College
Midhurst, West Sussex
10 May 2011

May I say thank you for the welcome which the group of staff, parents and children received on Friday. They all enjoyed the experience of the Temple visit and had so much to speak about on their return. May I also thank you for the resources that you passed on to use which have today been used in a school assembly.

Theresa Hodge
Deputy Headteacher
Ilfracombe Infant and Nursery School
Ilfracombe, Devon
6 May 2011

Thanks so much for a wonderful school trip today. The girls really enjoyed themselves and learnt so much from the visit. Thank you for making the visit runs so smoothly.

Antonia Richards
St Mary’s School
Hampstead, London
3 March 2011

As usual, the whole visit provided a really great experience. The spiritual nature of the Mandir communicates itself readily to pupils through its wonderful architecture and evocative Arti ceremony.

Alec Synge
Head of Religious Studies
Northcote Lodge School
Wandsworth, London
28 February 2011

Our school visited your glorious Mandir today. May I just express my thanks and the thanks of our pupils too? We thoroughly enjoyed our Hindu experience. The gentleman who greeted us and took us to watch the slideshow presentation did a first rate job. He was very welcoming, as were all the staff and volunteers we met. This has been a wonderful day for our pupils. Next year, we hope to bring an entire year group of 112 children to visit your magnificent centre.

Ron Monti
Leader of Learning
Edwinstree Church of England Middle School
9 February 2011

Thank you so much for hosting us last week. Our students loved the Visit; your hospitality was inspirational and beautiful. Thank you so much. Our students will be writing personally to say thank you.
After visiting your Temple, we are considering studying Hinduism for A-Level.

Simon Etheridge
Bishops Stortford High School
19 January 2011

Thank you… for hosting myself and my students at the temple this past Wednesday. Your presentation was engaging and well-organized, and the students were certainly impressed by your kind hospitality as well as the beauty and holiness of the temple itself. I do hope we will have an opportunity to visit again.

Prof. Lance Nelson
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of San Diego
19 January 2011

Thank you so much for our wonderful time at the Mandir. It was a fantastic trip, wonderful to experience the peace and beauty of the Mandir and have the privilege of taking part in a ceremony. Our children are still talking about it and really benefited from this trip. Many thanks for all your help on the day and in the organisation. It was great.

Teri Hatton
Holy Trinity Pewley Down Junior School
18 January 2011

Thank you so much for a really special and enjoyable visit. My students were incredibly moved and impressed by your sincere welcome and the care you took to explain traditions and Hinduism. It was a golden day.

Patrick Letschka
Senior Lecturer
University of Brighton
18 January 2011

Thank you very much for the welcome you extended to myself and to the staff and students from Worth School, Sussex on our visit to the Mandir yesterday.
We always regard our visit as a great privilege and I know our students gain tremendously by being introduced to other faiths.

Fr Thomas (Haynes) OSB
Worth School
11 January 2011