A world-renowned Hindu spiritual leader has blessed a replica road sign which renamed a Preston street in his honour.

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj was presented with a ‘Certificate of Distinction’ and a replica road sign in the presence of his Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and guests.

The road sign signifies the partial renaming of Gerrard Street to Pramukh Swami place and was blessed by the head of BAPS, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. 

Mahant Swami Maharaj last visited the City of Preston in 2015 and has blessed the city on numerous occasions over the past 40 years.

Under the leadership of Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS strives to build ‘a righteous, peaceful and harmonious community that is spiritually elevated and free of addictions and violence’.

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Part of Gerrard Street was renamed Pramukh Swami Place in December 2021 to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Both the award and the renaming of the road were in recognition of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s ‘spiritual, humanitarian and charitable contribution’ to Preston since 1974. 

Pramukh Swami Maharaj became one of only three individuals to have received this award in the history of the city. An entry confirming this award was added into the ‘Book of Friendship, Recognition and Distinction.’ 

This book is kept in the Mayor’s Parlour as a historical record. 

Leader of Preston City Council, Cllr Matthew Brown said “Preston has been honoured to be blessed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj on so many occasions which has meant so much to so many.

"On behalf of Preston City Council, we are delighted that his spiritual, humanitarian, and charitable contributions to Preston for nearly 50 years are recognised in such a rare award. It is very much deserved.”

APS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Preston has been established at Ribble Bank Street since 2015. It provides various educational, community and spiritual activities for children, youths, families and the elderly.

The Mandir forms a part of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), an international community-based Hindu organisation affiliated to the United Nations, caring for individuals, families and societies through its more than one million members, 55,000 volunteers and 3,850 centres.