A campaign to build a Buddhist temple in Cambridge has been launched.
Monks and Buddhists from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Burma, Tibet and the UK gathered at Netherhall School yesterday to mark the founding of Buddha Metta Cambridge.
The group, which gained charitable status on September 24, is aiming to build a temple in the city to provide support, meditation classes and teachings to local Buddhists, members of the community and universities.
About 400 people, including deputy mayor Cllr Paul Saunders, enjoyed a Civara Dana ceremony to mark the occasion and the End of Rains Retreat, during which several Buddhists offered food and robes to monks.
Luang Poh Sudiro, the monk leading the project, said: “Cambridge has a long association with Buddhism going back to the 1930s.
“We hope that a Buddhist temple will be a new chapter in this story, offering a place where everyone can come and learn about Buddhism.”
The idea for the project dates back several years ago during a visit to Cambridge from members of Abbot of Rama 9 Temple in Bankok – the temple of the King of Thailand.
Last year Luang Poh Sudiro, who has also founded temples and meditation centres in New Zealand, visited Cambridge with two other monks and expressed an interest in setting up a Buddhist temple.
The initial drive came from Thai and British Buddhists but the campaign has now been joined by Sri Lankan, Burmese, Vietnamese and Chinese members of the religion.
Dr Rachael Harris, Cambridge University Buddhist Chaplain and a trustee of Buddham Metta Cambridge, is also behind the project.
She said: “We had an amazing turn-out for the launch, about 400 people, so there is clearly a lot of interest in the project. It would be used not just by people in Cambridge but throughout East Anglia.”
She said the cost of the scheme had not yet been determined, but it could be in the order of £400,000 to £500,000.
For more information about the campaign visit http://buddhamettauk.blogspot.co.ukhttp://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Bu ... 112012.htm