The first recorded Sikh Sangat Diwan (congregation) was held in Denmark Street, Reading, in 1967, where Church hall was hired for 75 pence (old money) per day. There where about 150 Sikh families at the time in Reading and a weekly Kirtan diwan’s where held. All the families participated in organising and cooking Langar (community kitchen) “Sewa”.
The Guru Granth Sahib was brought from few of the familie’s home for the “Diwan” on Sunday and then taken back after the service. Kirtan and Guru Granth Sahib Ji’s “Sewa” was performed by the congregation as there where no full time “Granthis”. The first president of the Gurdwara was Bhai Sahib Gurnam Singh.
In 1974 the Methodist church in Cumberland Road, Newtown, Reading became available and the Sikh community decided that it need a more permanent place of worship where Guru Granth Sahib Ji could be installed on permanent basis, Akhand Paht (continues reading of Guru Granth Sahib Ji over 48 hours) could be performed and cooking of Langar could be done on site rather that at individual families homes and then transporting it to the hall every Sunday. The Cumberland Road site was purchased for a sum of £26,000 and with the grace of Guru and a lot of hard work put into weekly dash around the country to appeal for donations from other established Sikh Gurdwaras around the UK, the final payment on the loan was paid two years later.
The Gurdwara was extended in 1998 when the “Diwan” (main prayer hall) was moved from the ground floor to a newly constructed first floor. The kitchen and Langar hall facility was extended and new toilets and management offices where also added.
Please also visit Ramgarhia Gurdwara Reading, UK: http://www.readinggurdwara.org.uk/