Sikh community, Singh Sabha London East, has built a new three-storey Gurdwara in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham, with the support of a £4.75 million loan from HSBC UK.
The new £13.5 million building is fully operational with an official opening planned for later this year. Singh Sabha London East runs two Gurdwaras, in two separate London Boroughs, managed by 25 unpaid trustees and assisted by 50 volunteers from the local community.
Operating alongside Barking Gurdwara, the development will support over 25,000 Sikhs living in the catchment area, offering more space for chaplaincy and Punjabi classes. The new Gurdwara will also benefit the wider community by providing sports facilities, library services and rentable events spaces.
The site includes a dining hall with seating for up to 600 people, three new congregation halls and accommodation for Sikh priests. It includes new classrooms to provide education and activities to local children, with plans for a monthly kid’s camp and an annual sports day in the near future. Punjabi lessons, Gatka and Kirtan music will also be made available.
Balbir Singh, Trustee at Singh Sabha London East, said: “We represent a cross-section of the East London Sikh community who have a strong desire to better support our 25,000 worshippers with more classes for children, along with improved activities and services for all. It is important to us to bring our community together and encourage diversity within our leadership roles.
The new temple, made possible thanks to HSBC UK’s financial support, as well as the consistent support from our Relationship Managers Laks Jakkula and Glen Monteiro, will enable us to achieve our vision through this enhanced offering.”
Jason Mowe, HSBC UK’s Area Director for Business Banking in East London, added: “We’ve been working with Singh Sabha London East for almost 50 years. The new Gurdwara is a major milestone for the organisation, helping them to put down deeper roots within the local community and providing a prestigious place of worship for local Sikhs.”
Throughout the pandemic, Singh Sabha London East have been providing nearly 4,000 meals per week for vulnerable members of the community, as well as NHS staff.