Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick features alongside iconic religious buildings
Europe’s largest gurdwara in the United Kingdom has featured in a new list of most important faith buildings in England, according to a media report.
The Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick, features alongside iconic locations such as Stonehenge and Canterbury Cathedral, Birmingham Mail reported.
The gurdwara has been chosen alongside nine other places of faith to feature in ‘A History of England in 100 Places’ which is being run by campaign body Historic England, the report said.
The gurdwara, which was built in the 1990s, housed one of the largest congregations in the UK and was the biggest in Europe, a citation by Historic England said.
“It continues to expand with Smethwick’s growing Sikh population,” the citation added.
“Community is at the heart of the Sikh faith and gurdwaras are a focal point for communities to come together and get closer to God.”
The UK is home to over 432,000 Sikhs, according to the 2011 census, making up 0.7% of the population.
The initiative features ten significant locations across ten categories.
The faith and belief category was judged by David Ison, dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and narrowed down dozens of nominations from members of the public into a final ten.
Edgbaston MP Preet Gill put forward Guru Nanak Gurdwara has a potential finalist.
Ison said,“Sikh communities are an important and valued part of our social fabric.This particular Gurdwara shows the geographical spread of different faiths in our country and represents how different communities and cultures come together to enrich British society.”
Historic England’s chief executive Duncan Wilson said,“The history of faith and belief in England is rich and complex. These ten places can teach us so much about our collective identity.”
“They tell us about dissent, conflict, tolerance and kinship between believers, as well as how the practice of faith has influenced and been influenced by the landscape.”
“They show how England has a long history of people from different faiths leaving their mark in a legacy of special buildings and places which still make a strong spiritual connection today.”