The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, welcomed the Queen and other Royal Highnesses and distinguished guests to the Westminster Abbey, this House of Kings, the place of coronations since 1066, and House of God, in which God is honoured in daily worship.
The Queen in her Address explained, “While national teams will be concentrating on the competition in August, Team Commonwealth will have a longer focus, working together to achieve a more enduring success”.
Lord Coe and Baroness Grey-Thomson reflected on the games to be held in Glasgow this year and the chief guest speaker Malala Yousafai gave an impassioned Address on the need to invest in girl’s education across the world and in Pakistan.
Along with the singing of Hymns, Poems, and Song & Dance routines, and affirmation by the Commonwealth Secretary General Shri kamlesh Sharma, other faith representatives from the Catholic Church, Methodist Church, the Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, and Hindu Communities read their prayers.
Anil Bhanot OBE reads a verse from the Katho-Upanishad:
“The Body is the Chariot, the Intellect the Charioteer;
The Senses are the Horses, the Mind the Reins;
Our Goals are the Paths the Chariot rides upon, and
The Rider is the Atma, the Divine Spirit, the Self.”
When all our faculties work in unison and the intellect guides us to the right aims in life the Self verily enjoys the journey. Thus we pray for all the Teams participating in the Commonwealth games this year to achieve their goals, in unison and with exemplary sportsmanship, to help bring joy to the spirit of the Commonwealth of Nations. Om.
All the faith representatives gathered also had an inter-faith discussion at the Westminster Abbey Institute on faith’s role in public service.
Anil Bhanot OBE