Shree Swminarayana Temple
Shri Swaminarayan temple, Oldham is a Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Oldham. It became the third Swaminarayan temple to open in the United Kingdom under the NarNarayan Dev Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday on 22 October 1977.
The Swaminarayan Sampraday has grown strongly under the guidance of the Acharya Maharaj Shri, respected saints and elders. Over a short period of time the message of Lord Swaminarayan has spread to all corners of the world.
The respected saints guided their ancestors in their lives and in their migration from east to west. Their ancestors suffered great hardships to secure a comfortable and prosperous life for the future generations, for which they will be eternally grateful. They did this with complete single-minded faith and trust in Lord Swaminarayan. Today, they reap the rewards of their courage and efforts.
With its origins stemming from a handful of people searching for a place of worship in a new country, Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Willesden has today become much more than one of the biggest Hindu Temples in Europe. From humble beginnings, it has grown to become an inspiration to thousands, keeping our culture, music and language alive with the hint of the British lifestyle we have grown up with. It continues to teach the core foundations of our religion; compassion, thirst for knowledge, morality, and respect for all human beings. As an important part of the local community, Willesden Temple has become a place where lifelong friendships have been made.
In 2007, over 2,500 people, including the mayor of Oldham, turned up to celebrate the temple’s thirtieth anniversary, taking part in a variety of activities.
Shree Swaminarayan Temple History
Oldham temple was the third Swaminarayan temple in the UK. It was the first Swaminarayan temple to hold prayer services 7 days a week both mornings and evenings. The temple has been open for darshan every single day since the opening.
The elders were keen to maintain the mother tongue Gujarati alive amongst the youngsters. Therefore, a Sunday Gujarati school was formed when the temple opened. This school was the first to be established amongst the Swaminarayan temples of England. The first classes commenced in November 1977.
In October 1980, a new altar was shipped from India and installed in the temple. The altar weighed a staggering two tonnes, costing £4,000 and standing 16ft high. It is hand carved out of teak and took 40 satsangis one week to put together. It was one of the first of its kind in Britain.
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