Gurdwara Sahib Leamington and Warwick

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The Gurdwara Sahib Leamington and Warwick in 2012

The Gurdwara Sahib Leamington and Warwick is a Sikh gurdwara located on Tachbrook Drive, Warwick,[1][2] England.[3] It primarily serves the community around Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth.[4] It is one of the largest buildings associated with Sikhism in the United Kingdom.

Details[edit]

Plans for a large temple to service the 4,000 local Sikhs were made in 2000, and £1,000,000 was pledged by local residents towards the project. Further donations were made during the planning stages, bringing the eventual total to £11,000,000. The greater budget allowed plans to be expanded from a modest four-storey building into a 4,280 sq m structure.

The project was handled primarily by local contractors. Plans for the temple were drawn up by the Kenilworth-based architectural firm MPC Partnership, and construction itself was handled by Leamington-based contractors AC Lloyd. Construction began in 2008, and was completed on Friday 18 September 2009 with a ceremonial handing-over of the keys to members of the Sikh congregation. Services began a month later, on Sunday 25 October 2009, following a procession by local faithful through the town and a consecration service on the temple grounds.

It is widely rumoured that this is the largest Sikh Temple outside of India.

2016 conflict[edit]

In 2013 the BBC reported that Sikh weddings were often disrupted by protesters opposed to mixed faith marriages in gurdwaras.[5] In 2014 the General Assembly of Sikh Council UK, a Sikh organisation that coexists with the Sikh Federation (UK), which is said to be the largest UK Sikh organisation, passed guidelines declaring that temples are encouraged to ensure that both parties to an Anand Karaj wedding are Sikhs.[6]

On 11 September 2016 a group of protesters reported to be "in possession of bladed items" disrupted a mixed-faith wedding between a Sikh bride and a Hindu groom at Leamington Spa gurdwara, threatening and intimidating the people inside.[7][8] A trustee of the temple described the protesters as "fanatical extremists". Authorised Firearms Officers responded to the scene, arresting 55 men, and seizing "a significant number of bladed weapons", all but one of which were kirpans, later determined to be ceremonial rather than functional.[9]

Gurdwara trustee Jaswat Videe said that the intruders were "absolutely wrong" to think that Sikhism prohibits interfaith marriage.[8][10] The Sikh Council strongly opposes such mixed marriages.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gurdwara Sahib, Warwick. Leamington Spa & Warwick Gurdwara Sahib". Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  2. ^ https://stores.sainsburys.co.uk/0503
  3. ^ "Gurdwara contact". Retrieved 17 June 2012. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Wright Hassall Law (5 February 2010). "How The Leamington Gurdwara Was Built". PRLog.org. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Neiyyar, Dil; Khatkar, Perminder (11 March 2013). "Sikh weddings crashed by protesters objecting to mixed faith marriages". BBC News. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Sikh Council UK (25 October 2014). "Sikh Council UK Develops Guidelines of Approach to Inter-Faith Marriages in Gurdwaras". Sikh24.com. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Weapons seized at Leamington Spa Sikh temple 'ceremonial'". BBC News. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Booth, Robert (11 September 2016). "Leamington Spa: police arrest intruders who occupied Sikh temple". The Observer. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Robert Booth (11 September 2016). "Leamington Spa: police arrest intruders who occupied Sikh temple". The Observer. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Sikh 2 Inspire". Facebook. Retrieved 11 September 2016.  Facebook discussion and video by a supporter of the Leamington Spa intruders
  11. ^ Sikh Council UK (25 October 2014). "Sikh Council UK Develops Guidelines of Approach to Inter-Faith Marriages in Gurdwaras". Sikh24.com. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
General

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°16′42″N 1°32′42″W / 52.2784°N 1.5450°W / 52.2784; -1.5450