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Armed Forces Sikh Conference fosters 'sense of extended family'

The fourth annual Armed Forces Sikh Conference, which took place at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre at Amport House near Andover, has been celebrated as a huge success by delegates.

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Mandeep Kaur and assembled delegates on the steps of Amport House

Mandeep Kaur and assembled delegates on the steps of Amport House [Picture: Cpl Steve Blake RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

The conference took place from 14 to 16 May, with servicemen and women from all three Services attending, some with their families. It was hosted and organised by Mandeep Kaur, the Sikh Civilian Chaplain to the Military.

Conference sessions ranged from ‘Diversity in the Military’ by Group Captain Pemberton, to discussions on various current practices and issues that Service personnel come across.

His Honour Judge Sir Mota Singh QC also attended, along with other dignitaries including the Venerable Stephen Robbins, the Chaplain General (Land Forces), and representatives from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

During the conference Sikh Service personnel shared their operational experiences with others.

Gatka (Sikh martial arts) were performed by Bhai Uptej Singh and team, which further instilled the ‘Saint Soldier’ spirit in all delegates.

Mandeep Kaur said:

On the last day in an open forum everyone was asked to give their feedback; some felt it had been character-strengthening, had extended a feeling of family, had been a great educational experience, a reminder of why they had joined the Armed Forces, had rekindled feelings of belonging, de-stressed them and prepared them to perform their best work.

The air was emotional before departure and I felt immensely satisfied and relieved.

I was amazed to see how much there was the need to pray together and contemplate.

Thanks to God for giving us such a spiritual and successful time together.

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Published 18 May 2010