Plea for help to expand only Sikh temple in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 10:06 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 08 November 2019
The Sikh community in Norwich is appealing for help as it fundraises to expand part of the faith's only temple in the county.
Almost a decade ago, in 2010, a former furniture store at the corner of Dereham Road and Old Palace Road became the Norwich Gurdwara.
It was led by Chanan Singh Suwali, one of the first Sikhs to settle in Norwich, after 10 years of dedicated fundraising.
At the time, there were estimated to be just 100 Sikhs living in the city.
In the 2011 Census, just 1pc of people in Norwich identified as Sikh.
But with the Sikh community in the fine city having grown in the years since, and more people having become aware of the Gurdwara, space has become limited, and expansion more pressing.
At the end of 2017, Norwich City Council granted permission for the temple to build an extension.
Popinder Singh Landa, president at the temple, said: "Every Sunday we get together, we pray and we all sit down and have a meal together.
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"We used to sit in a marquee outside, but in the winter it used to get cold.
"We decided to build a dining hall so we could sit in there instead."
But with the community relying on donations, and with unexpected costs cropping up, they are roughly £30,000 short of the required funds.
"Schools come and visit the temple," he said, "and we are still getting calls asking if year two or year five can come and visit, and we're having to say no at the moment."
He said the temple had been closed since May, and that seeing it back open as a place of worship as quickly as possible was a priority for the group.
"Anybody is welcome to come to our temple on Sunday to sit with us and have a meal," he said.
For more information on the project, or to donate, visit the facebook page here.
On Sunday, November 17, the community will celebrate 550 years since the birth of Sikhism, at a special event held at Kinchen Hall on Colman Road.
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