I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all at Bhaktivedanta Manor on its 50 years of incredible service.
I am honoured to be the first Labour Party leader to visit Bhaktivedanta Manor.
It was a privilege to be able to come and pay my respects during Diwali. I heard about the powerful leadership lessons from the Ramayana and the pioneering inter-faith efforts in the community. From the creation of Britain’s first network of Hindu state schools, I would like to thank you for the educational outreach you do to thousands of young people.
I also had the pleasure to meet HG Visakha Dasi, the first female Head of your denomination in the U.K. It is a true testament to service that Bhaktivedanta Manor distributes hundreds of thousands of free meals to those who need it. You were kind enough to offer my team and I the most delicious of feasts, thank you again for your wonderful hospitality.
I experienced first-hand the spirituality that can be found at Bhaktivedanta. I received blessings from the Deities and took the opportunity to garland the murti of Srila Prabhupada, an extraordinary visionary offering people of all backgrounds a spiritual escape. I even had the honour to be able to feed the cows in your purpose-built goshala!
Bhaktivedanta Manor has transformed the lives of its congregants. Its leaders, including the Manor’s late President, His Grace Sruti Dharma Prabhu, have also touched the nation by their holiness, inspiring countless others to lead better, kinder and more generous lives.
I am particularly proud of the historical ties the Labour Party has with Bhaktivedanta Manor and the role that a Labour Government played so that it could remain open. It is difficult to imagine that such a monument to peace and love was ever ordered to close. I am thankful that it was the Labour government of 1997 that rescinded the enforcement notice of closure against the Temple and I pay tribute to the unprecedented campaign in the 1990’s that saved the Manor.
May I in turn, recommit the support of the Labour Party and myself personally to Bhaktivedanta Manor and the Hindu community. Thank you for all you have given our country over last half century. I look forward to working with you as you chart a course for the next 50 years.
Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party