This month we welcomed back Than Gai who is our first monk to pass his English B2 examination, and has consequently travelled on a three year visa. Accompanying Than Gai was a new monk, Phra Thawatchai, also known as Than Amm.
Than Thirasak is currently in America attending a conference, and we’re hopeful that he will return to the UK in late October in time for our Kathina ceremony on 5 Nov.
As reported last month, we had received a conditional offer of a £65,000 grant from Veolia Environmental Trust, and we are pleased to confirm that we have now met all the conditions, and have received the first grant payment of £42,248. The remaining balance will be payable in stages as we progress through the works. Purchase Orders have now been placed for the new windows and doors, and for the Peace Garden.
We have had a delay to the start of the project works which were due to commence in May, with a revised start date now of 19 June. This was simply due to contractor availability. We will be starting work on the Phase 1 of the new hall project which involves the realignment of the perimeter wall and drainage connections. As these are completed we will then move on to the Peace Garden. Concurrent with this we will also be replacing 30 windows in the existing temple building and four external doors.
Three of our monks and a group of supporters travelled to Aberdeen this month to help the Varapunya Meditation Centre celebrate their Si Ra Reuk ceremony for the new Ubosot hall that they will be constructing. The ceremony included the laying of the nine Sima stones to consecrate the land.
We are celebrating Vasakha Puja on Sunday 4 June, and hope very much that you can join us on this most important date in the Buddhist calendar. This day is known worldwide as Buddha Day, and it celebrates three important events that all occurred on the same day of the year … the birth of the Buddha, the date of his enlightenment, and the date of his passing.
As always, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions,
With Metta (loving kindness)