Over 400 members of the Glasgow Sikh community gathered at the Glasgow Gurdwara on Albert Drive earlier this month for the unveiling of the cities first ever multi-faith tapestry.

As we come to the end of November, members of Glasgow's Sikh community are recovering from a month of celebrations in the name of world-renowned Sikh Guru Nanak's 550th birthday, the prophet credited with founding Sikhism.

The multi-faith tapestry is a lasting reminder to the community and those outside it of the significance of the year, and the three characteristics central to Sikhs: hard work, sharing and spirituality.

Glasgow Times:

The Tapestry Project was founded by Manjit Kaur Jheeta, 65 from Pollokshields, who along with Paula Hope, a 52 year old Art Teacher, led a volunteer group of 90 women from different faiths and communities to weave the tapestries over 18 months.

Manjit, a former biology teacher who is also a member of the Glasgow Gurdwara's committee, met Paula by chance in Glasgow when thinking of ideas for an art project to honour Guru Nanak.

"Guru Nanek founded the interfaith aspect of Sikhism, and I wanted to honour that in the tapestry unveiling."

"Guru Nanak has always been my role model, because of my background as a teacher. I based my career on that, and have been very interested in oneness and interfaith, which are two big characteristics of his teachings.

Glasgow Times:

"I thought that it was a good idea to bring his message into the 21st century, when we have so many extreme views and politics, and bring people together. Suddenly, there are increased racial tensions, border tensions and levels of crime because of intolerance.

"When I retired I decided it was time to make my vision come alive and I did that through art.

"I wanted something that would bring people together, and even in the Gurdwara there are people who cannot speak or read English well, people who have worked all their lives or who have generational differences - but art brought everyone together."

Read more: Meet Glasgow's Sikhs: A day in the life at Central Gurdwara

Manjit met Paula by chance whilst looking for inspiration in Glasgow. She had never been to a Gurdwara before, and knew nothing about Sikhism or Guru Nanak.

"I was John Lewis looking for inspiration, and was looking in particular at different fabrics. Many women in the Gurdwara have fantastic sewing skills and talents but have never participated in anything like this.

"I went into a shop off Buchanan Street, and heard the buzz of a sewing machine. I got chatting to the woman at the machine, and she was an art teacher and machinist. That was Paula, and I knew the door had opened."

Manjit and Paula led a weekly meeting where members of the public gathered on an evening once a week to create the tapestries, as well as over 800 crochet flowers that decorated the Gurdwara and will be sold as Christmas cards this season, with the proceeds given to the charity Sikh Scotland Sewing.

Glasgow Times:

Some of the women who joined to help had never sewed before.

"We didn't even anticipate that it would be finished for this month of celebrations, but it was another added positive that it was.

"The whole experience was magical" said Manjit. "I don't know what we'll do now that it's finished."

Over a year later, three ceiling-to-floor hand-stitched tapestries were unveiled in the Glasgow Gurdwara as part of the Guru Nanak celebrations, and will later be toured around different venues such as St. Mungos and fellow Gurdwara's around the UK, in Birmingham and London.

"It was the best gift that we could give to people in Glasgow" said Manjit.

"It has brought together women from the Sikh, Jewish, Muslim, non-faith, Hindu, Christian and even non-religions communities.

"Paula and I, without even realising it, had designed the message of oneness and equality of Guru Nanak into every part of the tapestry, and I am forever thankful to all the volunteers who have supported this wonderful project.”

“Having never been to a Sikh Gurdwara before, it was pure chance and some Divine Inspiration that I met Paula.

I feel so blessed and humbled that I was able to have this opportunity, with these lovely ladies that put their heart and soul into creating them."