On 9 September, Cardinal Vincent visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir which is the largest Hindu temple outside of India, located in Neasden. The Cardinal first visited the Temple shortly after it opened while he was Auxiliary Bishop of North London, so he was welcomed back in the year it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The group which included four members of religious orders- a Carmelite, Dominican, Benedictine and an Augustine- was met by three sadhus. They were guided around the beautiful Mandir, which is dedicated to their spiritual founder, Bhagwan Swaminarayan, and were taught the origins of the Mandir, the importance of its architecture and symbolism. The group were then led upstairs into the Inner Sanctum to seven ornate shrines housing murtis (sacred images which Hindus believe to be ritually infused with the divine presence). These are the spiritual heart of the Mandir, and the focus for prayer and worship. At the end of the visit Cardinal Vincent commented that recognising our differences, being well-rooted in our own religious beliefs and expressing them confidently, is no barrier to dialogue and friendship, but rather the sure foundation for them.