Queen's Park Faith Tour
Queen’s Park in Bedford is rich in both culture and religion, with Christians, Muslims, Sikhs (and others of all faiths and none) living together in harmony. Our three main faith communities have places of worship within three hundred metres of each other, and faith leaders have developed a ‘Faith Tour’ for schools and other organisations. ‘Faith Tours’ are administered by ‘Faith in Queens Park’, a registered charity (1139459) & Company Limited by Guarantee (07419682).
The Queen’s Park Faith Tour provides an opportunity for schools to:
- bring R.E. alive through first hand experience
- enhance the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils
- experience community cohesion at work in a rich and diverse neighbourhood
Faith tours mainly run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, during term time. We frequently offer two Faith Tours on one day, by running them in carousel. The timings work as follows, but as there may be two tours running, please read your booking confirmation letter carefully for details of your own tour.
|| Arrive at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Ford End Road, Bedford MK40 4JX for tour and presentation
Arrive at Jamia Masjid Gulshane Baghdad (Westbourne Road Mosque) for tour and presentation
||Arrive at All Saints Parish Room where pupils eat their packed lunches
||Tour of the Church with presentation
||Depart from All Saints Parish Church, Westbourne Road, Bedford MK40 4LD
Each stop includes a tour of the building, an interactive presentation, and a chance to ask questions.
It is helpful to book sufficiently in advance. The tour schedule for the month is finalised in the middle of the preceding month. It is then sent out to the teams of volunteer guides, and cannot be altered after this.
All visitors are asked to respect the religious and cultural traditions by:
- dressing modestly, ensuring that shoulders and legs are covered
- removing footwear before entering the Mosque and Gurdwara
- bringing packed lunches that are strictly vegetarian (no meat, fish or eggs)
- ensuring that all participants bring a headscarf (not hats or handerkerchiefs)
Headscarves must be worn by all people entering the Gurdwara (there are spares at the entrance for those who forget). Females also need to wear a headscarf in the Mosque. No meat, fish or eggs are allowed into the Gurdwara on account of the Sikh belief in the sanctity of all life.
The optimum number of pupils for one tour is 30-60. We can occasionally make special provision for a higher number but please do let us know in advance. Ordinarily iIf your numbers exceed this you will need to book and pay for two tours (which can run concurrently on the same day).
However, within these limits, if two small schools arrange to combine for one tour, this is acceptable, and one fee would be charged. If so, then one school needs to be the lead school, which would book the tour, be responsible for the joint arrangements and pay the invoice on behalf of both schools.
To book a faith tour, click 'Booking' to view the online calendar, (remembering that two tours can be accommodated on one day); then complete and submit the online booking request form. It is important to submit two telephone numbers on the booking form; preferably one of these being the mobile number of the tour leader.
To assist in making your arrangements for your Faith Tour, a template risk assessment is available in the downloadable 'Information Pack’. and also a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
The cost of the Faith Tour is £150 per tour to cover costs like heating and staffing for the tours.
In support of our local state schools, Local Authority maintained schools and Academies falling within the areas of Bedford Borough and Kempston are eligible to pay the reduced rate of £100. The balance for Local Authority maintained schools being covered by a supporting grant from Bedford Borough's SACRE Committee and by Faith in Queen's Park for Academies. Please download the appropriate invoice from the menu above (and pass to your Finance Manager for payment in advance).
The Faith Tour fee is split equally between the three places of worship and ‘Faith in Queen's Park’ to cover administration costs. Given the costs of heating and the time our leaders contribute, we believe the money represents very good value for the learning experience. We prefer you to pay in advance following confirmation of your booking. (But if you plan to pay on the day please let us know and hand your cheque over at the Church). Cheques payable to ‘Faith in Queen's Park’, and should be posted to Mr Jonathan Ogilvie, c/o All Saints Parish Church, Westbourne Road, Queens Park, Bedford, MK40 4LD.
We are often fully booked months in advance, and late cancellations create problems for everyone therefore please see our Cancellation Policy as late cancellations will incur an admin fee. Traffic in Bedford can be difficult and schools should arrive at their tour start-point by 9.50 so that the Faith Tour can start promptly. If you are delayed or need to contact us, please phone either Jonathan Ogilvie on 07889 969607 or Debbie Ward on 07767 470528. The best way to contact us in advance of your visit is by email, (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At the end of your visit and before you leave, please give us feedback by completing the evaluation form which will be handed out during the tour. We are also grateful for more comprehensive comments by email if you wish.
In conjunction with Bedfordshire SACRE we have created a downloadable ‘Faith Tours Information Pack’ to help schools make the most of the Faith Tour. The Information Pack deals with reasons for a visit, guidelines for planning a visit (including a template risk assessment and template letters for parents), pre-visit support for schools (including resources boxes, which can be pre-booked by phoning 01234 290393), as well as practical activity suggestions for use in school before, during and after the visit, to maximise the children’s learning.