The Newham Directory of Religious Groups 2006 gives both introduction and detailed lists.
Hinduism is probably the most ancient of all religions and has traditions and Scriptures dating back to about 200 BC. It is also the most diffuse and diverse religion and it is very hard to separate what is specifically religious from what is mainly traditional Indian culture. Over the centuries it has accepted and taken on board beliefs and practices from a variety of sources, now claiming them as its own. There said to be hundreds or thousands of Gods in Hinduism, or rather manifestations of the one God or eternal spirit. As a result Hinduism does not make any exclusivist claims that it has discovered the truth. There are for Hindus many possible ways to God.
Hinduism at the popular level is based on a set of religious rituals and moral duties. Worship [Puja] is often conducted at a shrine in the home although visits to temples are also important. The two major groupings are those who follow the God Vishnu [incarnated among others as Krishna] and those who follow the God Shiva. Festivals such as Holi in the spring, and Diwali at the Hindu New Year in the autumn are important parts of Hindu community life. Hindu philosophy is also well developed and some of its crucial ideas such as reincarnation and practices such as yoga and meditation have become popular in the Western world. Hinduism lies behind much of the thinking of the current New Age movement.
Historically the diversity of Hindu practices has been strongly associated with the division of society into various castes and sub-castes, which were originally occupational or ethnic groups in Indian society. Recent developments and reforms within Hinduism have led to the formation of groups meeting for more obviously religious purposes, such as the missions who propagate a particular version of Hindu faith and the Bhakti and Bhahan singing movements who meet to express devotion to a particular God or follow a particular teacher [guru].
There are four major Hindu temples in Newham, a community centre which is home to many Hindu groups and probably up to fifty smaller religious groups within Hinduism in Newham’.
FIVE KEY TEMPLES BY 2010
1968 - Radha Krishna Temple and Hindu Centre, East London, 5 Cedars Road, Stratford, E15 - ‘a social, cultural, religious institution. The first Hindu Temple in East London, which serves the needs of the Hindu community in the LBN and the people of the surrounding Boroughs’. Owns building. Open Sunday and every day with Hindi language classes, RE, Women's group, Youth activities.
1978 - Sri Murugan Temple, 78 Church Road, Manor Park, E12 - Tamil community. Open every day am and pm Music classes.
Sree Narayana Guru Mission of the UK 16 Barking Road, E6 - Moved in 1999 from Trinity Centre E6. Daily prayer, study class, child care, play scheme, day centre for pensioners, Malaysian teaching. 1988 Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple 22/24 Shaftesbury Road, E7 am and pm all day at festivals. English/Gujerati classes. 800 members ‘to propagate the teachings of Lord Swaminarayan, education of culture and tradition'. Mahalakshmi Temple [Lakshmi Narayana Trust] 272 High Street North, E12 Prayer 5 times daily Urdu and Arabic use in main service on Friday.
ONE MAJOR CENTRE - Upton Community Centre, E13. Claiming 7,000 users in 2005 Groups begin. Most move on, disappear. In 2005 four groups were listed:
Mankuva Seva Mandal 1994 - Elderly peoples help, home help, taking to outreach projects
Newham Hindu Cultural Association - Worship group. 75 members
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh - ‘We provide the Hindu youth with a place to learn about their culture and play Asian Indian games’
Jai Amba Mata Mandal - Religious and social activities for Hindu community
In addition to the 2005 listed groups a further 6 appear in the Directories as using the Centre but were no longer recorded in 2005:
Hindu Swayam Savak Sangh
Raj Yoga Group
Shree Sathya Sai Baba Centre. In 1990’s 175 members, 100 at service
Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Mission . In 1990’s 200 members, 45 at service
Vishwa Hindu Parishad East London and Essex Brahma Samaj, 300 members, 60 attend service in 90’s.
Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community UK E6
Shree Manhata Samaj E7
Ishwa Hindu Parishad 518 Green Street E13
Yaga Bhoumi Hindu Religious Services 179 Forest Lane E7
With a Hindu or similar philosophy, emerging from Hindu tradition, prefer to be called’ Universal’
Radha Soami Satsang Beas [British Isles] Plashet School South, E6
Sahaja Yoga Meditation Group Froud Centre E12
Sri Satya Sai Baba Bhajan Group Froud Centre E12 1981
Hindu Universal ‘To awaken in man the awareness of the divinity inherent in him by propagating through practice and example the basic principles of truth, righteousness, peace and love.
1965 Ravidasa Temple and Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha Carlyle Road E12
Hindu background/influenced by Sikhism. Faith: Ravidasra 300 members
SHRINE IN CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY
The Lord Shiva July 2005 statue blessed and welcomed . First permanent statue of its kind at the crematorium. Hindu cremations around 5 a week.