Take wing - but first a prayer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 July, 1998, 12:00am

Representatives of 14 religions are to attend the opening of one of the new airport's more unusual facilities - a prayer room.

The room, to be opened on Saturday, has no permanent religious symbolism, but six cupboards have religious items for Catholic, other Christian, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian and Muslim adherents.

Followers of other faiths, such as Hindus, Sikhs, and Bahais, can also be accommodated in the room, which has been donated by the Airport Authority.

'On every flight there's a lot of people who are flying because of some crisis. It maybe that their father is ill, or it may be a happy event such as the birth of a grandchild,' said Reverend Lloyd Williams, the prayer room co-ordinator and airport chaplain.

'And more than you'd imagine, if they see a sign for a prayer room will go and sit in it.' The 90-square-metre room can also be booked by groups making religious trips, such as Muslims setting out for Mecca, or people other faiths going to Jerusalem.

Although more extensive than that at Kai Tak, the facility at Chek Lap Kok is modest in comparison with those in some European airports, where there are churches, synagogues or mosques on site.

However, the space there is usually rented from the airport owner by charities or religious groups.