Faith Minister visits temple to start Diwali celebrations

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Baroness Warsi joined spectators at a fireworks display to mark the start of Diwali celebrations at London’s famous Neasden Temple.

Neasden Temple is the first traditional Hindu Mandir in Europe and the largest temple outside India. During her visit, the Faith and Communities Minister received a traditional welcome by the trustees of the temple and heard about their work before embarking on a tour of the building.

She met volunteers and heard about the central role the temple plays within the local community and beyond - having attracted devotees and visitors from across the world since it opened in 1995.

Baroness Warsi was then invited to set off the spectacular fireworks display enjoyed by the thousands of people who had travelled to the temple to mark the beginning of Diwali.

Baroness Warsi said:

“Every year I look forward to celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, so it was a particular honour to mark it this year at the magnificent Neasden Temple.

“It was fascinating to hear about the central role the temple plays within the local community, from hosting school visits and organising charitable events - and how the Mandir has attracted devotees from all corners of the globe.

“I would like to pay tribute to the trustees and volunteers many hours of devotion and commitment and thank them for the warm hospitality I received during my visit.

Photos of the visit are available from the DCLG Flickr channel