The temple has remained closed this month to general visitors, though supporters are attending daily to offer lunch to the monks whilst following all Covid precautions. The monks remain well, and are continuing to offer whatever support to the community that we can under the circumstances. We are following the government’s advice closely and looking forward to reopening the temple for general worship as soon as possible, though it is unlikely that we will be able to celebrate Songkran in April. The current forecasts are that Lockdown 3 will end in June which is when we would traditionally celebrate our temple anniversary. We will continue to follow the official guidance, and may hold a small outdoor ceremony if at all possible. We hope very much that our next large event will be Kathina which is planned for 31 Oct 2021.
One of the biggest challenges this month has been the intermittent wi-fi problems we have been experiencing. Unfortunately, our IT Support company seem to have ceased trading and we have had to bring in another specialist company to identify the problems. Our Internet Service Provider assures us that the issue is not with the line or the broadband speed, but with the internal network infrastructure. We were finding that the broadband and wi-fi speeds within the building were fine, but that the wi-fi would temporarily disconnect and then reconnect. After some fault finding we identified the probable cause as being the router failing. This was replaced and the new router reconfigured to communicate with the four access points – so far it has been fine. Our sincere apologies if you have been affected by our loss of internet signals during our online chanting or meditation.
We have made some further progress with the new hall project having reached substantial completion on the building design, and have now appointed a professional Quantity Surveyor to assess overall budget costs, and have commenced the detailed electrical designs. Hopefully by the end of March we will have a clear idea of the total cost for this ambitious project, and we can start looking at funding options.
We have also made progress with the Peace Garden having provided additional design and clarifications regarding drainage to Halton Borough Council.
Last October we were advised by the local Police that there was a Home Office scheme that provides grants to enhance security at Places of Worship. We submitted an application for a new CCTV system, and are pleased to announce that we have been successful. A new HD 24 camera system will shortly be installed costing over £13k, of which we have had to contribute 20%. It is planned that the new system will have the capacity to cover the new hall and the Peace Garden.
As always, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.
With Metta (loving kindness)