07 Jun 2012
Westminster Abbey will welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on Wednesday 20th June.
He will attend a service at 11.00 am in the Nave entitled A Moment of Prayer and Reflection with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The congregation will comprise representatives from other Christian denominations and other faiths, local school children and also members of the general public who are invited to apply for tickets via the Abbey website.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘The Dalai Lama is a global spiritual leader whose significance is all the greater in view of the suffering of the Tibetan people. We look forward to welcoming him and praying together for the reconciliation of divided communities.’
The Dalai Lama is making a private visit to the UK.
His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, is the 14th and current Dalai Lama, as well as the longest lived incumbent. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and earlier this year was awarded 2012 Templeton prize at St Paul’s Cathedral.
His Holiness is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan community. His political leadership of Tibetan people in exile has been passed to Lobsang Sangay, a former senior law fellow at Harvard University, who is the recently-elected Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Central Tibetan Administration-in-exile at Dharamsala in India.
The Dalai Lama last visited the Abbey in June 1981 and before that in October 1973.
The Dalai Lama is the latest in a line of faith leaders who have visited Westminster Abbey. In 2010 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI attended a Service of Evening Prayer and in 2007 His All Holiness Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch, attended Evensong.
At the Commonwealth Day Observance, which is held at the Abbey on the second Monday in March each year, UK leaders of the world faith communities take part in a service normally attended by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.