LONDON, UK—The aptly named Central Gurdwara of London, is the oldest Sikh institution in Europe, tracing it’s origins back to 1908.
The Gurdwara Sahib has since it’s inception provided support for the Sikh community and the community at large for a long period of time. As the Sikh community has prospered across the UK, many other Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations have opened and sadly this Gurdwara Sahib has regrettably fallen into a state of disrepair.
The Gurdwara Sahib, founded by the infamous Chief Khalsa Diwan (the Panth saving organizations that revitalized Sikh intellectual minds from the slumber of Hindu influenced rituals that crept into Sikh households and institutions) holds on to a huge legacy. Shaheed Bhai Udham Singh would frequent this Gurdwara Sahib. He advised the Gurdwara Sahib sangat and committee that had take donations from the Guru’s golak to complete his fated task of seeking justice for the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh.
The lack of building maintenance became apparent to the global Sikh community when on the morning of 20th April 2016 it was discovered that the Gurdwara Sahib had been broken into and robbed, with thieves gaining access from broken windows. The images of the damage were shared by Sikh media and touched many hearts. It was observed that the prosperous Sikh community let a historic and centrally located Gurdwara Sahib fall into such a state of disrepair.
Prof. Peter Singh Virdee, a renowned Sikh businessman and philanthropist, saw the disrepair of the Gurdwara Sahib for himself, and decided that he would take initiative steps to restore and revitalise the Gurdwara Sahib.
Through his philanthropic work at The Virdee Foundation, Peter Singh Virdee has taken on the entire refurbishment of the Gurdwara Sahib, including the Divan halls, Langar Hall, Kitchen, Toilets and adjoining areas.
The Gurdwara Sahib has now transferred the saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji for the works to begin.
The gurdwara, is very important. And it’s Langar supports man people from the near by council eastate and poor exploited eastern European workers.
It’s also a hub for students at Central London university and holds regular classes in yoga an gatka as well as kirtan.
We should support it and use it. We should not feel we have to drive to gurdwara public transport is very good around there especially with it being just yards from the west fields.
Someone should look at the accounts because the gurdwara owns the 2 town house next door and they should be providing more the enough rent to support the gurdwara.
It is great that the work has started…..the gurdwara was in a very poor state. However, it is not apparent how this work is being funded..it mentiones Peter Virdee and his foundation – they only had an income of £20,000 in the last year they published accounts …so what is his involvement? also he has just been charged with VAT fraud and may be extradited to Germany to face trial…
I think you should also mention the back story to why this Gurdwara building has fallen into disrepair.
Parking at this Gurdwara is very difficult to find, as the Gurdwara is located in central London. It’s not easy for the sangat to visit here. The Sikh community is most concentrated in west London (Hayes/Southall) and there are far more Gurdwaras that easier to get to and easier to park at.
Secondly, my understanding is that the committee at this Gurdwara had decided to sell it and relocate to a different building in Ealing, West London. this was progressing, then one half of the committee fell out with the other half, and the relocation was cancelled. My understanding is that this led to a further decrease in numbers attending this Gurdwara.
Well done for starting and renovating an important religious and historic building.
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