Well, we can start this month’s newsletter with some good news … something that perhaps we all need at the moment 😊 … Than Thirasak and Than Gai have just received the news that their visa applications have been approved, and they are now making arrangements for their flights back to Runcorn.
We also have some more good news … following the amazing generosity of our supporters at Kathina we have now been able to fully repay the mortgage on the temple. We took out a loan of £120,000 with Triodos Bank in January 2013 payable over 15 years. The monthly repayments were approximately £1,000 but we were in a position to make additional payments each month, and consequently have fully repaid the mortgage in half the time – our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to this success, you are now very much part of this temple.
Unfortunately this good news is tinged with sadness … Covid visited our temple in October despite all the precautions we had taken. Two monks, Than Bank and Than Phan were approaching the end of their visas, and chose to go on a day trip to visit a stately home – it appears that during the trip they contacted the Coronavirus. However, they were not displaying any of the traditional Covid-19 symptoms, and in fact Than Phan said he felt much better. They thought that they had just contacted a cold. Two days before their flight they obtained their Fit to Fly letters from the local GP, and left for Thailand on Sunday 25 Oct. During the flight Than Bank was coughing so the airline arranged for Covid-19 tests for the two monks on arrival in Bangkok, where they were found to be positive. They were put into isolation, and are today well on their way to full recovery.
In line with Government advice and regulations the temple remains closed to general visitors during November (Lockdown 2), and we will reassess our opening hours and control measures once Places of Worship are allowed to reopen.
Than Yeam is now alone at the temple until he is joined by Than Thirasak and Than Gai towards the end of November. We are in touch with him daily, and he is fine. He has recommenced his English language studies with Sally, and is enjoying these immensely. Mae Chee remains with her mother in Liverpool until Lockdown 2 is over, when we hope that she can return to the temple. As always we are indebted to her for keeping the Meditation Course going on Zoom, though her Silent Walks have had to be postponed for November.
We are still carrying on with the designs of the new temple hall, and have now completed the foundation and drainage designs which incorporates the entire perimeter wall around the temple car park. Halton Borough Council have included this element of works in their Future High Street funding bid, and we hope to hear soon if they have been successful. Our current aim is to get the entire project designed and costed, so that we can then take a prudent decision on completing the project against the background of reduced donations due to the Coronavirus – challenging times for all.
As always, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.
With Metta (loving kindness)