In a first for the city of Bradford, six people from the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christian faith communities have gained the professional Level 2 Certificate in Tourist Guiding awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding.
Mohammad Asrar Sahibzada, M.Z.Bilali, Ridwaan Haris, Balu Lad, Rajinder Singh Panesar and John Poole were all participants on the first ‘Faith Guiding Course’ run by the Bradford based organisation, ‘Faithful Neighbours’. They are qualified to offer quality tourist guiding for visitors to their respective places of worship: mosque, mandir, gurdwara and church.
“It’s great for Bradford”, said the Bishop of Bradford, Rt Rev Dr Toby Howarth who described the origins of the Faith Guiding Course and the positive outcomes of learning together: “It’s not just about showing people the buildings but also about the faith of people worshiping in them”.
M Asrar and M Bilali from the new Central Mosque in Little Horton want to offer visitors a positive experience. Balu Lad highlighted the riches of Bradford’s hidden gems: mandir and gurdwara as well as mosque and church.
The Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Abid Hussain presented certificates. Nicky Godfrey-Evans, chief examiner from the Institute of Tourist Guiding, commended the high standards set by the candidates and spoke of the impact of her visit to Bradford as transformative. She would like to bring other tourist guides to visit the City’s faith centres. As Rajinder reminded everyone, ‘don’t turn your back on visitors!’