Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
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|Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha|
Exterior and main entrance of Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Southall
|Location||Southall, Greater London, England, United Kingdom|
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Gurdwara|
|Construction cost||£17.5 million|
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall (SGSS) is a Sikh Gurdwara situated in the London suburb of Southall on Havelock Road and Park Avenue. It is the largest Sikh temple in Europe. Building work at the Havelock Road site commenced in March 2000 and the Gurdwara opened on Sunday 30 March 2003, in order to accommodate for Southall's growing Sikh community. The Gurdwara cost £17.5 million to build. Funding came by way of donations from members of the local Sikh community and abroad.
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall was established in England by Sikhs who had emigrated in the fifties and early sixties. By the 1950s, a significant number of Sikhs were living in Britain, and the main congregational gathering was at Shepherd's Bush Gurdwara. To accommodate the Southall Sikhs, the Southall Sikh Cultural Society was established in 1960. This organisation held Sunday programmes at Shackleton Hall until it moved to 11 Beaconsfield Road.
The Havelock Road site was purchased in 1967. The dairy was transformed into the Gurdwara in a matter of weeks. In April 1967, the Khanda was brought to England from the Tosha Khana at Darbar Sahib Amritsar for Amrit Sanchar. From those humble beginnings, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall emerged as the leading Gurdwara in Europe.
29 November 1997 saw Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall move to the Park Avenue site (which was originally purchased in 1984). The move was necessary to allow for the new building at Havelock Road which opened on 30 March 2003.The building of the new Gurdwara was to mark 300 year of the Establishment of the Khalsa Panth - Sikh Brotherhood of Saint Soldiers.Under the leadership & vision of Sardar Himmat Singh Sohi a plan was drawn up to make the biggest Gurdwara outside Panjab at the Havelock Road site.The Gurdwara now stands proud at Havelock Road as the biggest Gurdwara in the Western Hemisphere,its inauguration was done by HRH Prince of Wales - Prince Charles.Since then many dignitaries such as Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Tony Blair,Archbishop of Canterbury and the leaders of all the Political Parties have visited the Gurdwara.
Since then the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara purchased the a sports ground in Norwood Green which has since been developed into the Khalsa Primary School - the school is now one of the most modern and leading schools in the area.
In a bid to improve and advance the education of Sikh pupils, the Gurdwara set up a brand new Sikh School - the 'Khalsa School'. This school caters for children of Sikh parents as well as other faiths. The school is located at Norwood Hall, Tentelow Lane, Southall and was purchased for £2.8 million from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.
In 2012, President Sardar Himmat Singh Sohi and the executive committee dedicated the annual Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan procession on the 25 March to Bhai Balwant Singh Ji Rajoana, who was scheduled to be hanged on the 31 March 2012. As as result of this, over 200,000 Sikhs from across the UK attended the Vaisakhi procession to protest against the death penalty which was pronounced by an Indian court. A stay of execution was granted.
President: Sardar Himmat Singh Sohi
Treasurer: Harkiran Kaur Keila
General Secretary: Parvinder Singh Garcha
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