Inderjit Bhogal (OBE)
Saturday 31 July 2021
I think Inderjit Bhogal may in fact be a living saint. I’m a bit hazy on the criteria, but his huge heart for the marginalised and sidelined, and those who find themselves isolated and disenfranchised, especially refugees and those seeking asylum, must count…surely?
Over the years, very many organisations associated with interfaith relations, refugees, peace, reconciliation and justice have either been set up by him, or have very sensibly involved him in their work….but perhaps closest to that big heart is the extraordinary City of Sanctuary movement that he founded, which holds the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all, proud to offer sanctuary to people fleeing violence and persecution.
And he knows what that’s like. Brought up a Sikh, his family left Kenya as refugees, coming to Britain when Inderjit was 11. Finding no Sikh temple in Dudley, he turned up for worship at the local Methodist church….almost certainly the first time a turbaned Sikh had been part of the congregation. Eventually he became a Methodist minister, and has been a hugely significant, and much loved, figure in the church ever since.
Saint or not, I hope you too will feel blessed by a Travellers’ Tales encounter with Inderjit.