History - About us
In the 1950s Sikh Sangat used to meet for weekly congregation at Nicholas's Church in Stepney. The Gurdwara Sikh Sangat was first established on 15th October1959 at 1a Campbell Road, Bow, London E3 by the Bhatt Sangat. The building was bought for £1,200. In the 70s the Gurdwara could not meet the demand of the congregation. The general meeting decided to buy a larger building.
The congregation agreed and the property was purchased for £37,500 on 29th November 1977. Members of the congregation spent many hours to renovate the building. The Gurdwara Sahib Ji was established in 1979.
Gurdwara Sikh Sangat Harley Grove
A Journey through Time
The present site of the Gurdwara Sikh Sangat at Harley Grove, Bow and was purchased in 1977 and established in 1979.
The present congregation/membership, originated from ten villages in Pakistan. These villages were part of India, and came part of Pakistan in 1947, after the partition of India and Pakistan.
This congregation started to arrive in England in the early 1950's, following the partition back home. These originators from the ten villages in Pakistan were from a particular sect known as the Bhart Sikh community.
Traditionally the Bhart Sikhs' follow the teachings of the Ten Gurus from Guru Nanak Sahib Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, through to the 11th Guru, known as the Guru Granth Sahib. One of the main teachings in the Guru Granth Sahib is that wherever there is a settlement of Sikh communities, known as the Sikh Sangat, there should be a Sikh Gurdwara. This is so that the Sikhs can have a proper place of worship, prayers and recitals of the Guru Granth Sahib. Also religious festivals can be celebrated. The Gurdwara is also a place where Sikh weddings, as well as funerals take place. The Gurdwara is place where the Sikh Sangat can meet on a regular basis to cook and offer "Guru Ka Langar" (Food blessed after a prayer), to fellow worshipers and all communities, as taught in the Guru Granth Sahib. Hence, when the original Sikh Bhatt's came to England, to settle mainly London, their aim was to open a Gurdwara.
Their wishes were fulfilled when they successfully opened a Gurdwara in Shepherds Bush, West London. The Bhart Sikhs offered their service in all the necessary roles that are required in the running of a Gurdwara, i.e. both as administrators and priests. The first elected President of The Shepherds Bush Gurdwara was "Rattan Singh
In 1957, the Bhatt Sikh's saw a building for sale in 1A Camberwell Road Bow, E3. The building was bought for £1200.00, by the Bhart Sikh Sangat. The whole Bhart Sangat, whom lived in either North London or East London, donated the sum of £5.00, in order to purchase the Gurdwara. On the 15th October 1959, the Bhart Sangat made a Registry for the Gurdwara, at this new site. The four Trustees for the Gurdwara were :-
S.Darshan Singh Lard,
S. Bachitter Singh Bhakar,
S. Buta Singh Kasba and
Giani Santokh Singh Nipak, (Taak).
However, some 20 years later with the London Bhart Sikh Sangat dramatically increased. The children of the original Bhart Sikhs had grown and now had children of their own. Also many new Bhart Sikh families had come to settle in London from India. It soon came apparent that the Camberwell Gurdwara was coming over populated and therefore too small to cater for all the Sangat. Especially when religious festivals took place and the entire Bhart Sangat came to the Gurdwara, to listen to the Guru Granth Sahib, and to enjoy Guru Ka Langar. Following several meetings it was decided a larger Gurdwara was needed. The Gurdwara General Committee and other senior members at the time were given the task to seek a new Gurdwara. The names of some of the persons who were involved at the time are as follows:-
Late S. Gurcharan Singh Sethi, Late S. Puran Singh Roudh, Late S. Hari Singh
Potiwal, Late S. Menga Singh Rathore, Late S. Panja Singh Lohia, S. Jagir Singh
Rathore, S. Suchet Singh Taak, S. Phuman Singh Rathore, S. Gian Singh Lohia,
S.Rattan Singh Rathore, S. Mohinder Singh Lakhanpal, and many others.
It was very fortunate that the above Sangat, came conscious from the local paper that nearby a building in Harley Grove, was for sale. This building belonged to the Jewish community, whom used to use it as their Synagogue. However, as the Jewish community had moved away from the Bow area, the Synagogue was no longer used, and therefore came for sale. The asking pice for the building was £77,000. The Bhart Sangat via a solicitor made an offer of £22,000. Following negotiations the initial completion was for £37,500. However, the Landlords insisted on a cash settlement. This became a challenge for the Bhart Sangat, as they had savings of only £9000.
Nevertheless, in such matters when a Gurdwara is the main object, there is always a way forward. The Sangat not wanting to let the purchase slip decided that the whole Bhart community would donate towards the purchase. It was decided that every main Bhart Sikh would donate a sum of £50.00, and a further sum of £25,00 would be donated by their sons, who were either married or in employment. Thus, the building was bought with the kind donations of the entire London Bhart Sikh Sangat. Although the building was purchased, it still required some repairs, a lot of cleaning and quite a lot of decorating. Appeals to the Bhart Sangat were made to carry out such work. The appeals as always were heard, and the Sangat gave their valuable time and money. The Gurdwara was duly decorated and repaired in approximately 2 years.
Photograph of early members of the Bhart Sikh Community & Shaheedi Uddam Singh
General Meeting Minutes and Forms
General Meeting Minutes and Forms
To update Soon