Guru Nanak Gurdwara Singh Sabha Sikh Temple

(Sikh Temple; St Thomas's Church)

Sikh Temple
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Sikh Temple

The Guru Nanak Gurdwara Singh Sabha Sikh Temple is located on Sheriff Brae in South Leith (Edinburgh) in the former St. Thomas's Church. Opened in 1976, upstairs is now the prayer hall, with a community meeting area and kitchen downstairs. The prayer hall is brightly painted and has a golden shrine, or Gurdwara, at its centre. Lying on the shrine is the Guru Granth Sahib, or book of Holy Scriptures, which is chanted during worship. The temple attracts a congregation of 400, with more for festivals.

The building was the target of an arson attack in 1989, but the community rallied round and the temple was quickly re-opened with a multi-faith gathering led by Edinburgh's Lord Provost Eleanor McLaughlin.

Externally, the building is an ashlar box, with a tower and soaring octagonal spire. St. Thomas's Church, along with an adjacent manse, school and asylum, were built 1840-43 by architect John Henderson (1804-62) for Sir John Gladstone of Fasque (1764 - 1851) as a memorial to his family. Gladstone had been born in Leith and was the father of Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809-98). The manse was destroyed by bombs dropped by a Zeppelin during the First World War but the church was undamaged. The building became available when the congregation united with the Junction Road Church in 1975.

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