Peace Garden

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In 2019 we were representing the temple at a meeting of the Runcorn Town Team, a committee made up of councillors, business owners, police, faith leaders and members of the public, all working together to help with the regeneration of Runcorn Old Town.  We were asked around the table if we had any ideas to improve the built environment. 

Just prior to this we had held a large event at the temple on a lovely sunny day.  We noticed that our attendees were looking for somewhere to sit, and some chose to sit on the grassed embankment, adjacent to the temple car park. This is an unused piece of land with a steep slope.  

At the meeting we suggested that, if the local authority have no other plans for this area, perhaps we could obtain permission to create a Peace Garden, an open, publicly accessible terraced garden with seating.  The centre piece would be a tall Chedi, or golden spire.  The idea was warmly welcomed, and we were asked to put forward a written proposal.  We are pleased to say that the concept was approved unanimously by Halton Borough Council.  Since then, we have carried out a ground investigation and had detailed plans drawn up.  We applied for planning permission, and this has been granted in full.  We then liaised with HBC for a new lease to be drawn up, and this was signed by Wat Phra Singh UK in November 2022.  Halton Borough Council are very supportive of the project, and have allocated some grant funding under the Town Investment Plan towards the costs of construction. 

March 2023:  We have received notification that we have been awarded a grant from Veolia Environmental Trust for around £65,000, half of which will go towards the construction costs of the Peace Garden, with the remainder funding some environmental and security improvements to the existing temple building.  We have selected a contractor who will start on site in early May 2023 to carry out some enabling works to the temple hall project, then move on to the construction of the Peace Garden.  We apologise in advance for any inconvenience during the construction works, but hope that the Peace Garden provides a welcome new asset for the community, a place for rest and calm reflection. 

March 2024:  Works are underway to construct the Peace Garden, and the Chedi, the 6M tall central feature, has been cast in Thailand and is ready for shipment.  We are planning to hold a unique ceremony at the temple on Sunday 23 June 2024 to dedicate the plinth on which the Chedi will stand.  This plinth contains nine chambers beneath the statue and everyone is invited to place something of personal significance into the chambers before they are permanently sealed.  More details in the coming months …

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