President Deborah Invited to Vedic Temple – Southampton

On Tuesday 21st March, Lady Edwina Grosvenor, High Sheriff of Hampshire, invited Winchester Rotary President, Deborah Macartney, to the Hindu Vedic Temple in Southampton. The Temple community wished to celebrate and thank Lady Edwina for her contribution to the local community while in office as High Sheriff of Hampshire. President Deborah very kindly invited Rotarian Diana Brooks to accompany her. 

The connection between Winchester Rotary and Lady Edwina stems from President Deborah’s choice, as President, to support Hope Street, which is Lady Edwina’s project to give women leaving prison, and their children, who have often suffered domestic abuse, a range of specialist support services in a safe, beautiful, purpose-built centre in Southampton. 

When Lady Edwina was appointed High Sheriff of Hampshire in March 2022, she wished to connect with people across diverse communities, so she chose Ritesh Bhatt, as her Chaplain. Ritesh is the man in charge of the Vedic Society Hindu Temple. 

We were warmly welcomed into the colourful Temple where we witnessed the complex Aarti ceremony which is performed at the end of ritual worship. Fortunately, we were given a translation sheet in English. There was much singing the Lord’s praises, ringing of handbells, clapping and playing musical instruments. At the end of the ceremony, we experienced the pleasure of watching a graceful Hindu lady perform a special cultural dance.

The evening concluded with a selection of aromatic vegetable curries. We sat around small tables which gave us the opportunity to meet and exchange news and views with a community outside Winchester.

The whole evening was one of warmth, friendship, calm and serenity. What a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet so many people from a different culture within our community. These connections go a long way to promoting peace and understanding between nations and diverse cultures.

Thank you President Deborah for giving me that opportunity.

Diana Brooks

Photos: Vedic Temple

[For more information on the event visit the Southampton Hindu Vedic Temple on Facebook:]

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