Chelmsford Faiths Sikhism
Return to Home Page Sources for information on this page: University of Glasgow, Interfaith Chaplaincy Religion & Belief Guide 2010–11, with permission;

General Information
Basic beliefs
The Sikh faith is a distinct religion revealed through the teachings of the ten Gurus, the first of whom was Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He was born in 1469 CE in the Punjab, India. In 1708 the tenth and the last Guru in human form, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, vested spiritual authority in the Holy Sikh Scriptures known as the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and temporal authority in the community of initiated Sikhs, the Khalsa Panth. Sikhs strictly believe that there is One God, who is Nirgun (transcendent) and Sargun (immanent). While being absolute and beyond human comprehension, God can be realised and experienced through contemplation and service. The object of a Sikh’s life is to develop God consciousness and ultimately to receive God’s grace. Life presents the opportunity to do so through truthful living and selfless service in the context of a family life. A Sikh’s way of life is guided by the following principles: Nam Simran – remembering and praying to God at all times Kirat Karna – earning a living by honest means Wand Shakna – sharing with the poor and needy Sewa – selfless service to God and humanity Equality – to treat all human beings as equals. A Sikh practices purity of thought, purity of action, and respect and love for God’s Creation. He or she has been given the human form to practice dharma (spirituality).

As in most religions there are varying degrees of commitment by the adherents, similarly practices of individual Sikhs may differ. However much of this information relates to Sikhs who have taken Amrit (initiated Sikhs) and need to adhere to particular religious practices. It is possible to be a Sikh and follow the Sikh philosophy but not to be initiated to be a Khalsa/Singh. Nonbaptised Sikhs are not required to fulfil the five Ks and can have cut hair but in strict religious terms cannot bear the title of Singh/Kaur. Although many in the West use Singh/Kaur as a surname inherited from their ancestors rather than a title of initiation. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, abolished distinctions of caste, colour, race or religion by introducing the concept of equality by making it obligatory for intiated Sikhs to a) share Amrit (holy water), b) adopt the same religious name of Singh (lion) for men and Kaur (princess) for women; c) wear five articles of faith, commonly known as the five K’s. These are: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a small wooden comb), Kara (an iron/steel bangle), Kirpan (a short sword for defence) and Kachhera (special shorts). Although not mentioned in the five articles of faith, the daastar (turban) is an essential accompaniment, which is worn to maintain the sanctity of Kesh and is treated with utmost respect. The Guru instructed Sikhs to say prayers in the early morning, at sunset and before retiring, to abstain from tobacco and drugs, due to their addictive properties. Intoxicants such as alcohol are not forbidden in the same way, but are to be used in moderation to promote self control; some Sikhs take this to mean total abstinence. The Guru also instructed Sikhs to contribute a minimum onetenth of their wealth, mind and body for religious purposes or to the needy.

The Gurdwara is the Sikh meeting place. It serves as a place of worship. school meeting room, communal kitchen, and if necessary a Gurdwara will provide a place to sleep for travellers. The role of the Gurdwara is to disseminate and learn spiritual wisdom, undertake religious ceremonies, and it is a place where children learn the Sikh faith, ethics, custom, tradition and texts.

Local Contact Details
The nearest Sikh Gurdwaras to Chelmsford are detailed below.

Karamsar Grudwara
Photo: A Krisman
Gurdwara Karamsar
400 High Road
Essex, IG1 4JG

Tel: 020 8478 8090

Gurdwara Karamsar is located on the High Road between Ilford and Seven Kings Main line railway Stations. Completed in April 2005 this unique and imposing Gurdwara offers the Sikh sangat and the public in general to partake in the the lords blessings by engaging in seva and simran.

Click here for web information.
Grays Gurdwara
Photo: source unknown
Grays Gurdwara
6 Maidstone Road
Essex, RM17 6NF

Tel: 01375 376086

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