Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall (SGSSS) is the largest Gurdwara organisation outside of India, established in 1950s.
Gurdwara, pronounced ‘Gur-Dwa- raa’ means the ‘Guru’s Door’ or ‘through the Guru’. Sikhs comes here to learn how to live a spiritual and moral life and earn Guru’s blessings
When the first Sikhs arrived in Southall in the 1940’s and 50’s, they used homes as Gurdwara’s, as the population grew, so did the need for large building.
Initially programmes were held at Shackleton Hall, until the move to 11 Beaconsfield Road. Soon the emigration of Malaysian and Singaporean Sikhs led to the formation of an additional group – Sri Guru Nanak Singh Sabha. The two groups remained independent until (1964) when they merged as Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall. In 1964 the group opened their first Gurdwara. It was situated at the Green; the Gurdwara also served as the headquarters of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall (SGSSS). This site remains, with plans for a new community centre to be built.
As a result of the relentless sewa by the sangat, the dairy was transformed into a Gurdwara in a matter of weeks. The Khanda was brought in April 1967 to England from the Tosha Khana at Darbar Sahib Amritsar for Amrit Parchar. From such humble beginnings Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall soon emerged as the leading Gurdwara outside of India.
In 1997 saw Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall move to the Park Avenue site (originally purchased in 1984). This was to allow for the construction of the current day Havelock Road Gurdwara.
On 30th March 2003 Havelock Road, Gurdwara site was inaugurated 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.
SGSSS has been involved in most issues concerning Sikhs such as precipitating an overwhelming response to the racist programmes in 1970’s in the UK to ensuring turbans and other Sikhs practices are allowed in work and social places. Sikhs in UK have successfully established themselves in many fields and have long dreamt of building an institution to reflect their growing influence, secure their children’s future and accommodate the growing number of congregations.
Today the 2 Gurdwara’s serve as the hub of the community both Sikh and non-Sikh, with over 15,000 worshippers and visitors entering the Guru’s door every week.
As well as continuing and enhancing the well-established religious programmes the new building is able to accommodate large congregations both in the main hall (seating up to three thousand), surrounded by a gallery to allow worshippers to meditate or pray in an area of solitude. Additionally, there is a Multi Activity Hall (seating up to 1000 worshippers) which can be used as an overflow area for Gurpurbs, marriages or other special religious functions. The langar (the free kitehcn) hall provides food to all citizens of the community seven days a week and will be able to serve as many as 20,000 meals a week, in the continuous and unique Sikh tradition, where all are welcome, (race, sex, color and creed do not matter) the food is always free and always strictly vegetarian.
November 29, 2020 4:29 pm local time