Dad’s ‘close-knit community’ in ‘beautifully placed’ town

Pawandeep Singh Maniktala with his wife Bhavneet Kaur and son Sartaj
-Credit: (Image: Pawandeep Singh Maniktala)


A dad has thanked a “close-knit” community for helping him and his family settle into a town 40 minutes away from Liverpool.

Pawandeep Singh Maniktala, originally from India, had visited the UK multiple times for work before moving permanently in 2022 after an internal office job transfer. The 37-year-old lives in Great Sankey, Warrington, with his wife Bhavneet Kaur, and three-year-old son, Sartaj.

The IT consultant found a group of like-minded others, who also follow Sikhism, at the town’s temple, Guru Nanak Gurdwara. They supported Pawan whilst he lived in an Airbnb in Manchester and helped him find the right family home.

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The dad-of-one told the ECHO: “Warrington is a lovely town for me and my family. It is beautifully placed. I miss the food and the cultural celebrations back home but Warrington, and the UK, have a better quality of life for us with food and air.

“There is only a small community of Sikhs, around 100 people. There aren’t more than 200 people for sure. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming, helping me settle comfortably in the town and providing emotional support on many occasions.

"Most of the community work in Manchester or Liverpool but once a week we all come together at the Sikh Temple. It is the best time to be together.

“It is a fun time and we try to celebrate our festivals, especially the main ones like Vaisakhi and Sikh Diwali, outside of the temple and get everyone involved. We have dance, lots of things for the kids and of course, good Indian curries.”

The Singh Maniktala family are expecting another child in October
The Singh Maniktala family are expecting another child in October -Credit:Pawandeep Singh Maniktala

Pawan said it was important for him to continue the traditions he grew up with - including regular visits to the local temple. Living in New Delhi, Pawan would visit the temple daily but since moving to Warrington and having a family, he now focuses on putting all of his energy into a more meaningful visit every Sunday.

He said: “For me, religion is something that your parents and family follow, whereas your relationship with God is something for you. I have been brought up seeing that culture all my life, so on Sundays when in the temple, it is about aligning yourself with inner peace and not relationship building because that relationship has been there all along and embedded.

“At this stage, it is about understanding the verses in the holy book and how we can apply the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji in life.”

Pawan now wants to reciprocate the same warmth he received when he first moved for other Sikhs - this includes connecting with new community members through prayer, singing and projects at Guru Nanak Gurdwara weekly.

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