Vaheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Jee Kee Fateh

Dear All,

Fraudulent Activity

We have been made aware of fraudulent activity that may affect your organisation.

You may be approached by an individual or individuals asking to renew your membership and/or join the sixth administration of Sikh Council UK (2020-2022). These individuals are also asking for membership fees to be paid and for application forms to be sent to an unknown Ilford PO BOX from personal non-SCUK email addresses.

We would like to forewarn all our membership organisations and prospective members that this is fraudulent activity. We have reported this to the police and relevant authorities. Please note: SCUK is NOT collecting membership fees/funding and no one has been authorised to do so.

We will be holding an Extraordinary Meeting of the General Assembly on 22nd August 2020 to present a roadmap for the future of SCUK to all GA Members. Any official SCUK communications will be sent from info@sikhcouncil.co.uk.

SIKH COUNCIL UK ANNOUNCES GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ON 22ND August 2020

Secretary General of SCUK, Jatinder Singh has given the required notice, of four weeks, to all General Assembly Members of an extraordinary meeting of the SCUK General Assembly to be held, on 22nd August 2020. Further details and agenda will be sent shortly.

Jatinder Singh was approached by GA and EC members requesting an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly. Therefore, as per the constitution, this meeting of the General Assembly must be convened.

Although not constitutionally required, in the interests of a positive outcome for the Sikh Council UK, the executive committee has made continuous effort to liaise and explain our constructive approach to the Board of Jathedars convenors.

Official Press statement on Secretary General’s Announcement to Call GA

 

The Executive Committee of Sikh Council UK held a virtual meeting on Saturday 11th July 2020. As the leading voice of Sikhs in the UK, it is important that the organisation develops and adapts to best suit Panthic interest in the current environment. We are looking to re-open membership shortly leading to the formation of the next administration.

The Executive Committee feel that there is a much needed review of the constitution and the related governance model. We will be initiating this review in the coming weeks and will welcome input by all Sikhs (sangat), GA members, legal experts, professionals and members of the Board of Jathedars on an individual basis.

If anyone wishes to be a part of the consultation or submit feedback, please email info@sikhcouncil.co.uk

Official Announcement: Announcement 14:7:20

Please see present constitution: Sikh Council Constitution

Please see all resources (posters and signage) available for Gurdwara Sahibs

Please see Guidance on Safe Reopening

HIGH RES PRINT VERSION (Download here)

ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਦੇ ਦੁਬਾਰਾ ਦਰਸ਼ਨਾ ਲਈ ਖੁਲਣ ਸਨਬੰਧੀ ਸਿਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ ਵਲੋਂ ਤਿਆਰ ਕੀਤੇ ਪੋਸਟਰ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਈਨਜ਼ ਨੂੰ ਪਿ੍ਰੰਟ ਕਰਵਾ ਕੇ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਗਾਓ। ਵਧੇਰੇ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਅਤੇ ਸਹਾਇਤਾ ਲਈ ਈ-ਮੇਲ ਕਰੋ.

All our resources and guidance(s) are available for Gurdwara Sahibaan to print and display to Sangat and/or adapt for use in the Gurdwara Sahib.

For more information/support please email: info@sikhcouncil.co.uk and we will be able to arrange a phone consultation/visit dependant on your needs.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government Robert Jenrick has announced that places of worship will be able to open for ‘individual prayer’ from Monday 15th June.

For Sikhs, this means Gurdwaras will be able to allow Sadh-Sangat to come for the Darshan of Sri Guru Granth Jee Maharaj, our eternal living Guru.

Please click below for the tweet and video published by Robert Jenrick earlier today.

According to reports in the media, PM Boris Johnson will update his cabinet on Tuesday and make the detailed announcement later that day.

Sikh Council UK has been actively challenging the Government’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach towards places of worship and Gurdwaras since the onset of lockdown. Our aim has been to educate policy-makers and officials of the unique requirements of Sikhi. A Gurdwara is not just a place of worship but the gateway to accessing the darshan of our living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. Please see our correspondence:

First Joint Letter to Secretary of State

Second Joint Letter to SS Robert Jenrick

We have prepared and collated specialist guidance to safely reopen Gurdwaras. We will be adding to our resources in the coming days: Guidance to Safely Reopen Gurdwaras

Sangat around the country has been yearning for Darshan as it is an essential part of Sikh life and instructed by Gurbani:

ਝਖੜੁ ਝਾਗੀ ਮੀਹੁ ਵਰਸੈ ਭੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਦੇਖਣ ਜਾਈ ॥੧੩॥
ਸਮੁੰਦੁ ਸਾਗਰੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਬਹੁ ਖਾਰਾ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਲੰਘਿ ਗੁਰ ਪਹਿ ਜਾਈ ॥੧੪॥
ਜਿਉ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਜਲ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਰਤਾ ਤਿਉ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਮਰਿ ਜਾਈ ॥੧੫॥
ਜਿਉ ਧਰਤੀ ਸੋਭ ਕਰੇ ਜਲੁ ਬਰਸੈ ਤਿਉ ਸਿਖੁ ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਬਿਗਸਾਈ ॥੧੬॥

Please see below for Risk Assessments/Guidance for Reopening Gurdwaras

Latest Guidance: COVID-19 Guidance for Gurdwaras (30_6_2020) Final V 1.8

  1. Achieving safely managed reopening for Gurdwaras – V1.4 – BCSF and SCUK (1)

  2. Risk Checklist_ Gurdwara Re-opening_by Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara (S
    lough)

  3. Coronavirus Checklist Prepared by Sikh Doctors Association May 2020

ਸਿਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ ਅਤੇ ਬਿ੍ਰਟਸ਼ ਸਿੱਖ ਕੰਸਲਟਿਟਵ ਫੋਰੱਮ ਨੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਅਤੇ ਸਨਬੰਧਿਤ ਮਹਿਕਮਿਆ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜਿਆ ਪੱਤਰ: ‘ਗੁਰੂ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਸਿਖੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਲੱਖਣ ਅੰਗ’

ਕੱਲ ਸ਼ਾਮ ਯੂ.ਕੇ. ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਬੋਰਿਸ ਜਾਨਸਨ ਦੇ ਸੰਬੋਧਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਸਿਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ ਅਤੇ ਬਿ੍ਰਟਸ਼ ਸਿਖ ਕੰਸਲਟਿਟਵ ਫੋਰੱਮ ਨੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਨਬਧਿਤ ਮਹਿਕਮਿਆ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜਿਆ ਪੱਤਰ। ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧਕਾ ਨੂੰ ਆਂ ਰਹੀਆ ਕਠਨਾਈਆ ਅਤੇ ਸਿਖ ਧਰਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਗੁਰੂ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ ਦੇ ਵਿਲੱਖਣ ਸੰਕਲਪ ਤੋਂ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਕਰਾਇਆ ਗਿਆ ਜਾਣੂ।

ਜਾਗਤ-ਜੋਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਦੀ ਅਭਿਲਾਖਾ ਅਤੇ ਜ਼ਰੂਰਤ ਹਰ ਸਿੱਖ ਨੂੰ ਹੈ।ਸਿੱਖ ਦੀ ਧਾਰਿਮਕ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਗੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਦਰਸ਼ਨਾ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਗਤ ਤੋਂ ਬਿਨਾ ਹੈ ਅਧੂਰੀ।

ਇਸ ਪਤੱਰ ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਾਹਿਬਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੰਗਤਾ ਦੀ ਆਵਾ-ਜਾਈ ਲਈ ਦੁਬਾਰਾ ਖੋਲਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਖਾਸ ਸੇਧਾਂ ਦਾ ਖਰੜਾ ਵੀ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਅਤੇ ਭਵਿੱਖ’ਚ ਕਰੋਨਾ ਦੇ ਬਚਾਅ ਲਈ ਦੋਵੇਂ ਜਥੇਬੰਦੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਸਾਂਝੀ ਟੀਮ ਦੇ ਗਠਨ ਦਾ ਵੀ ਐਲਾਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ।

ਸੁਖਜੀਵਨ ਸਿੰਘ
ਮੁਖ ਬੁਲਾਰਾ ਸਿਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ.

Sikh Council UK and British Sikh Consultative Forum send joint letter to Government and Key Stakeholders: ‘Darshan and Sangat are unique aspects of Sikh Faith’

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation last night, Sikh Council UK and British Sikh Consultative Forum jointly presented a letter to Government and Key Stakeholders. This letter highlighted the difficulties faced by Gurdwaras across the United Kingdom and explained the importance of darshan and sangat in the Sikh faith.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee is the eternal, living Guru of Sikhs and Sikhs require darshan (access) of their Guru as an essential requirement of their faith. Sangat is a fundamental aspect of our spiritual growth and without it the practise of our faith is incomplete.

Alongside this letter, both organisations presented a draft guidance for ‘Achieving safely managed restarting of sangat services at Gurdwaras’ and announced the formation of a new team which will be supported by the Sikh Doctors Association.

Achieving safely managed reopening for Gurdwaras – V1.4 – BCSF and SCUK

Joint Letter to secretary of State

Sukhjeevan Singh Kandola

Spokesperson, Sikh Council UK

(077033205038/ info@sikhcouncil.co.uk)

 

 

In these testing times, Gurdwaras should all pursue opportunities to raise and save as much cash as possible, to ensure they can adequately function until there is some return to normality.

A swift return to normality once the lockdown ends is unlikely, the consequences for Gurdwara finances could be severe. Expect donations to be significantly lower and plan accordingly.

The key to survival and sustainability is to ensure you have enough cash to operate over prolonged period of reduced donations/income.

We are sharing our first-hand experience from running one of the largest Gurdwaras in the United Kingdom.

The following measures have successfully been used by our Gurdwara to improve our cashflows and can be applied to most Gurdwaras and Sikh charities:

  1. Banks are being very accommodating to requests to defer loan (capital) repayments. Getting payments suspended between 6-12 months is typical and achievable. The deferred repayments will extend the term of the loan. Speak to your relationship manager.
  2. Energy suppliers and HMRC (PAYE) are all allowing for payment plans. Speak to your utility companies and HMRC (Time to Pay) and agree on a payment plan of up to 12 months.
  3. If you have any hire purchases or leases (for equipment/vehicles), seek payment deferrals. Finance companies are providing payment deferrals of over three months.
  4. Notify utility companies if buildings are closed (particularly non-metered so they can reduce bills). Renegotiate electric, gas, water contracts- use a broker and ensure their commission rates are minimal. Check your energy bills to ensure that as a charity you are only paying 5% VAT. Charities are also exempt from the climate change levy (CCL).
  5. CBILS: The Government has changed its guidance so that Charities now qualify for the scheme. Previously Charities needed to have 50% of their income coming from trading activities. Under the scheme, Charities can borrow up to £5m over six years. Realistically, only larger Gurdwaras will be able to utilise this scheme.
  6. Bounce Back Loan: In response to the difficulties faced under the CBILS program, the bounce bank loan provides a 6-year loan of up to £50k with interest capped at 2.5%. The application is straight forward and based on a self-certification. We are finding that funds are typically released within 48 hours of an application. You will not need to make any payments for the first 12 months; however, you can repay the loan at any time. A £50k loan would result in monthly payments of £939 starting after the first year.
  7. Gift Aid– If your Gurdwara is not already claiming, start now. Qualifying donations will earn charities an extra 25%. The process is straight forward. At present Golak donations will not qualify for gift aid as declarations are not typically completed. There is a solution for this, see below.
  8. Gift Aid small donations scheme (GASDS)- This scheme lets Gurdwaras claim gift aid on Golak donations. Nearly all Gurdwara will be able to claim gift aid on contributions of up to £8k per tax year without the need for declarations. If a Gurdwara has more than one building in the same local authority, you can claim gift aid on donations of up to £8k per building. Gurdwaras can claim for the previous two tax years.
  9. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS- Furlough scheme). The Government will provide a grant of up to £2,500 per employee who have been furloughed as a result of COVID19. The cash grant is to cover the costs of paying employees from March to June 2020. The scheme is expected to continue in some form after June. The grant can be used to cover the costs of employees (Granthis, Langaris, admin and security staff). With Gurdwaras being closed, it is unlikely that there is enough work for all staff, this scheme will provide a cash grant to continue paying employees.
  10. If necessary, review staff hours and reduce. Ensure you follow HR best practice when changing employee terms and conditions.
  11. Grants: On 8 April the Government announced a £750 million package of funding to support the work of charities during the coronavirus outbreak. £370 million for small and medium-sized charities, including through a grant to the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England, will support local organisations including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. There is scope for Gurdwaras who are providing langar to qualify.  Some local authorities are also providing funding. A comprehensive list of grants is available on this link
  12. Online donations: Gurdwaras should encourage Sangat to set up standing orders and direct debits. Providers such as Gocardless make it simple for charities to set up and manage. Facebook and Instagram also allow for online donations to be made. Text to donate is available from DONR.
  13. Once Gurdwaras do reopen, there will be less Sangat visiting. Changes in behaviour will also mean Sangat donate less cash, with people being concerned about cash and coins harbouring the virus. Gurdwaras should look to install contactless Golaks and donation boxes.
  14. Some Gurdwaras own commercial and residential property. Although the retail market landscape remains challenging, Gurdwaras should consider letting out surplus assets to generate extra income.
  15. Review all expenditure and renegotiate pricing with suppliers. Review supplier statements and recover any amounts owed/overpayments.

Financial wellbeing depends on effective cash management. It is critical that Trustees of all Gurdwaras proactively implement steps to ensure they have adequate cash flow for the next 12 months. The future is uncertain, and it is likely an economic recession will place extra demands on Gurdwara services (such as langar), acting prudently now will ensure our Gurdwaras can successfully continue to serve the Sangat.

This Guidance was produced by membership organisation: Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall, General Secretary and Chartered Accountant – Harmeet Singh ACA