SELFLESS SERVICE: Sikhs Duty to Serve
SEWA is the essence of Sikhi, and it refers to ''selfless service', that is service performed without any thought of reward or personal benefit. The Sikhs arriving in Leamington and Warwick in the 1950s brought with them not only their endeavour for hard work but just as importantly they brought with them the Sikh faith with its core principal of 'Duty to serve' not only the Sikh community but non-Sikh as well.
In the midst of this world, do seva, and you shall be given a place of honour in the Court of the Lord.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji (SGGS p26)
Food for the Homeless
Duty to serve is undertaken in different ways, A little over 2 years ago, some members of the Sikh community offered to cover for the Christian Missionary Soup volunteers whilst they enjoyed a much deserved break. The volunteers decided to make this Sewa a regular contribution, by providing free hot meals every Sunday. Recently the Gurdwara Sahib became aware of this voluntary selfless-service and decided to provide these meals as langar to both Bath Place Community Venture and to some local homeless shelters.
Sikhi is founded on the principles of mutual inter-community respect, dialogue and harmony. A Sikh by definition must accept their responsibility to protect, guard and allow the free-practice of the customs, beliefs and rituals of all religions.
The Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick has been an active interfaith member of the Warwick District Faiths Forum (WDFF) since 2007.
With the opening of the new Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick, interfaith dialogue will play an even more important part in community relations and faith understanding across Warwick District. The new Gurdwara Sahib will host interfaith meetings, conferences and general open days for members of the public to explain the founding principles of Sikhi and its role in these trying and turbulent times.
The following are remarks made by distinguished personalities about the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and its interfaith message:
Pearl S. Buck: They (the Sikh Scriptures) speak to persons of any religion or of none. They speak for the human heart and the searching mind.
J.C.Archer: The religion of Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a universal and practical religion... The world needs today its message of peace and love.
The Sikh Heritage Association of Warwick and Leamington (SHAWL)
SHAWL was formed in May 2008, with the aims to promote Sikh Heritage, history, language and culture. Lectures and exhibitions focused upon the unique Anglo Sikh military relationship from the Anglo Sikh Wars of 1846 & 1849 through until 20th Century conflicts during WW1 & WW2.
The Arts have been encouraged by the hugely successful exhibition "Art in Motion" by the internationally acclaimed Singh Twins. Further events are planned as part of SHAWL’s “160 years - Shoulder to Shoulder" project.
Buwan Kothi International Trust (BKIT)
BKIT is an Independent charity, formed in 2006 and raises funds for projects in Haryana, Northern India aimed at rural regeneration and building closer ties with rural communities in the state. BKIT is entirely run by volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds.The major objective of the charity was always to raise funds to build a primary school in Buwan Kothi. The death of one of the trustees, a young local Sikh, gave this project even greater impetus.
In the following two years a primary school has been built which currently has 250 pupils. Links have been established with schools in the UK and there is also Community Resource Centre currently under construction, which will be used to run courses and workshops with themes ranging from looking after the environment to healthy eating, photography, and the arts.