The Coronavirus continues to impact on all our lives though there is some cautious optimism with the effects of the vaccination programme being seen in the daily reports, and with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions from the 12 April. The latest government guidelines for Places of Worship are that services can be held outside with suitable precautions and social distancing. We have therefore decided to go ahead with a week long Songkran programme starting from 11 April when we will be lighting candles for our supporters daily. On Sunday 18 April we will hold services on the temple car park when up to six persons from one or two households can visit the monks to make offerings and receive new year blessings. We will control the numbers of attendees to enable correct social distancing and ask that everyone wears a mask, uses hand sanitiser and leaves their name and contact details. We will also take everyone’s temperature as they enter the temple grounds. We hope very much that you can join us on the day, and bear with us as we try to manage the Covid-19 risks.
We have now had the QS report for the temple hall projected costs, and they are far higher than we had expected. We are looking at ways of reducing the budget such as design changes or deferred elements, but it is still very high. The monks and Trustees will be meeting later this month to agree the next steps on this very ambitious project.
Two of our Trustees will be standing down shortly at the end of their three year appointments, and we are now recruiting for new Trustees. Lane Chareunsy and Phan Phengsavanh have been stalwart supporters of the temple from the early days and have carried out their duties as Trustees very well. They now seek to step down as Trustees, but will continue to support the temple on a daily basis focussing on the welfare of the monks. We would like to offer our sincere thanks for everything they have done for the temple. If you feel that you could help steer the temple and take on the roles and responsibilities of being a charity trustee please let us know. Appointments are initially for three years, but are open ended. For anyone interested the role of a Trustee is set out by the Charity Commission in this document Charity trustee: what’s involved (CC3a) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
We are continuing to work through the temple’s wi-fi issues. We have replaced the router, and BT have finally admitted that there was a line issue which has now been addressed. We have also replaced the BT master socket. Whilst things have improved there are still intermittent wi-fi issues, and we are talking with our IT support company regarding the next steps. Once again, our apologies if you have been affected by the wi-fi connection problems.
We have continued to take the opportunity of lockdown to carry out refurbishment works at the temple and have now completed the office, the 1st floor fire escape and the Utility Room all of which are looking much better now. We are now back in the cellar to complete the refurbishment works there.
As always, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.
With Metta (loving kindness)