An Interfaith Service at Springhill Prison

Thanks to the hard work of Yvonne Dixon, Latifa Shahab Laker and Gulrukh Patel, an inspired Interfaith Service was held at Springhill Prison on October 25th 2012. The service took place in conjunction with the unveiling of a new Gym built entirely by the prisoners and dedicated to Noor Inayat Khan in recognition of her heroic deeds during World War Two.

Springhill was the training centre for the Special Operations Executive during the war and where all of Noor’s radio transmissions from occupied Paris, would have been received. In 1953 Springhill became the first open prison in the UK and is now a resettlement prison where detainees are prepared for re-entry into society. Yvonne is acting chaplain there and initiated talks with the Governor about offering an Interfaith Service called a Universal Worship Service in honour of Noor. During preliminary discussions he came up with the idea of dedicating the gym as a tribute to her. Naturally we were all delighted that the prison had taken Noor’s story into its heart.

The service was conducted in the presence of prisoners, guests and members of the UK Sufi Order. Guests and prisoners from different faiths were invited to participate by reciting scriptures from their respective traditions. One of the prisoners also made an offering from Noor’s Jataka Tales.

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