Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall (also abbreviated as SGSSS) is the largest gurdwara located outside India, which was established in the 1950s.
When the Sikhs started arriving in Southall in the 1940s and 50s, they utilized homes as Gurdwaras. However, as the population increased, a need was felt for a large building.
With the emigration of Singaporean and Malaysian Sikhs, an additional group, called the Sri Guru Nanak Singh Sabha, was created. The two diverse groups remained largely independent until 1964, when they eventually merged as Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall. In the year 1964, the group founded their first gurdwara. Situated at the Green, this Gurdwara also was the headquarters of the SGSSS. The site is still extant, with elaborate plans for a brand-new community centre to be successfully built.
Because of the relentless “seva” by the “sangat,” the dairy was completely transformed into a Gurdwara within a matter of weeks. From these humble beginnings, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall quickly emerged as the leading and the most prominent Gurdwara outside of India.
The year 1997 saw SGSSS move to the site of Park Avenue, which was originally purchased in 1984. This step was taken to allow for constructing the present-day Havelock Road Gurdwara.
On March 30, 2003, at Havelock Road, gurdwara site was inaugurated by HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. Since then, several dignitaries, including former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Archbishop of Canterbury and leaders of all political parties have visited the Gurdwara and paid their obeisance and respect.
SGSSS has been actively involved in several issues concerning Sikhs, including precipitating an overwhelming response to racist programmes in the 1970s in the United Kingdom to ensuring that turbans and several other Sikh practices are permitted at work and social places. Sikhs settled in UK have established themselves successfully in several fields and have long dreamt of creating an institution in order to reflect their formidable influence, secure the future of their children, and accommodate the vast number of congregations.
Today, the two Gurdwaras function as the hub of the Sikh community, with over 15,000 worshippers, including non-Sikhs, entering the Gurdwara every week.
Besides continuing and enhancing the extremely well-established religious programmes, the new building is large enough to accommodate enormous congregations both in the primary hall (seating up to 3000), which is surrounded by a gallery to enable worshippers to meditate and pray in a region of solitude. In addition, there is a multi-activity hall, which can accommodate 1000 worshippers, and can be utilised as an overflow region for Gurpurabs, marriages, or other special functions.