Kids Corner


Christian Saints Welcomed into Renovated Gurdwara


A stained glass window taken from a Sunderland church has been reinstalled  -  eight years after it was removed.

When Christ Church in Ashbrooke, England, was sold in 1999, its stained glass windows were removed and stored in a London warehouse  -  until now.

The former Church of England church was recently transformed into a Sikh Gurdwara when it was eventually taken over by the Sunderland Sikh Association, which has just spent more than a year trying to complete the restoration of the building to its former glory.

Now the window, which has three panes each depicting St Michael, St George or St David, has been fully refitted into its original place.

Manjit Singh Cheema, representing the Sunderland Sikh Association, said he and his colleagues were keen to get the windows back.

He said: "We have spent the past year doing this because we want to return the church to its original state. The window is there for people of all faiths to enjoy and it's a beautiful piece of glass.

"We have always felt it should have been brought back to Sunderland."

"The Sikh community does a lot for the city and this is just one example of that." Canon Stephen Taylor, who offered support to the project and helped Mr Cheema and his colleagues identify the saints, added: "It's wonderful to have the window back in its rightful place.

"We are grateful to the Sikh community for all their hard work in making sure it was brought back to the city."

More than 500 people turn up at the Gurdwara to take part in the religious services there. The former church hall is used as a community centre and the actual gurdwara is housed next door.

Mr Cheema says integration has always been important to the Sikh community.

He said: "We have a lot to offer the city and we just hope that people will come to see the window regardless of their religion."

[Courtesy: Sunderland Echo]

Conversation about this article

1: Kirpal Singh (DaytonaBeach, USA), March 30, 2007, 10:27 PM.

My salute to the Sunderland Sikhs for preserving the history of the new Gurdwara building by reinstalling the original stained glass windows, while converting the former church hall into a Sikh community center. What a beautiful, visionary act!

2: Hari Singh (London, UK), June 25, 2007, 6:18 AM.

What a wonderful way of preserving a beautiful and historical piece of local art and handicraft. And also, in faithful compliance with the universal values of Sikhism! Guru Tegh Bahadar taught Sikhs to be committed to the protection and safeguarding of other faiths, even those we disagree with. This is an act which shows how the Sunderland Sikhs have understood this deeper message of our Gurus and have shown respect for the Christian image(s). Also, by including the compositions of Hindu and Muslim Bhagats in the Adi Granth, Guru Arjan Dev taught us that religion does not have to be divisive. Once again, Bravo to the Sunderland Sikhs!

3: J. Singh (Newcastle, U.K.), October 18, 2009, 5:11 AM.

This gurdwara has an adjoining community centre where parties and receptions are held allowing alcohol and tobacco into the complex. This is a prime example of the state of our gurdwaras where Guru Granth Sahib and gurdwara properties are seen as mere objects that can generate money and allow egotistical and corrupt members of the community to assign upon them selves titles like Pardhaan (head of a Sikh gurdwara). The U.K. Sikh community is urged to contact the committee of Sunderland Sikh Association to highlight concerns about taking the saroop of Guru Granth Sahib to reception halls and allowing materials which are taboo in Sikhi.

4: Amrodriv Macrov (Ukraine), March 06, 2012, 2:41 PM.


Comment on "Christian Saints Welcomed into Renovated Gurdwara"

To help us distinguish between comments submitted by individuals and those automatically entered by software robots, please complete the following.

Please note: your email address will not be shown on the site, this is for contact and follow-up purposes only. All information will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Sikhchic reserves the right to edit or remove content at any time.