Published: 01 January 2011
The inception of the Letchworth Buddhist community centre was an opportune need of the local community in Letchworth and surrounding areas.
Inauguration of the centre took place in the year 2000 at 69, Pix Road in Letchworth. The main sponsorship was given by the SLSCO FLAME and the Venerable monks were invited from Sri Lanka. Ven. Nahalle Indrasiri,(Head of the Wanavasa Vihara in Bentota), Ven. Dambara Rewatha (Head of the Gallena Rajamaha Viharaya), Ven. Nawala Chandawimala (Resident monk of the Siddhaththaramaya, Nawala) and Ven. Nahalle Rahula ( A senior pupil of Ven. Dambara Rewatha) kindly accepted the invitation to institute the Buddhist community centre. The opening ceremony of the centre was held on the 20th August 2000 with the blessings from the most Ven. Madagama Wajiragnana (Head of the London Buddhist Vihara) and the Venerable monks from other Buddhist Temples in the UK. The former High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Mr. Mangala Munasinghe, the councillors of the Letchworth garden city council and many other well wishers from various nationalities took part in the opening ceremony.
Venerable Nahalle Rahula was appointed as the Chief Incumbent of the centre and the enthusiastic Buddhists and non Buddhists members of the community worked together to upkeep and improve the centre. In 2005 the BCCL was relocated to the current premises at 32, High Avenue, Letchworth (5th March 2004). Financial assistance was given by a pious devotee to mortgage the property. A beautiful Buddha statue from Sri Lanka was donated and the shrine room (vihara) was decorated and refurbished within a short period of time.
The Buddhist community centre has been a sanctuary to the community, which provides a valuable service regardless of nationality, colour or religion.
Ven. Nahalle Rahula is directing the community with the help of the two resident monks, Ven. Dodamgoda Siri Sumedha and Ven. Nallure Sangharathana. The management committee takes the leadership in organising the programmes and running the centre for the benefit of the vast community. The Letchworth Buddhist Community Centre has gained a high reputation within eight years of period as a religious, social and cultural centre in the UK.
Religious and Cultural Services
Daily chanting and meditation: 7.30 am, 11.15 am and 7.00 pm at the Vihara.
Weekly meditation Sessions and Dhamma discussion are conducted every Wednesday and Sunday at 6.30 pm.
Dhamma class and the language class for children are carried out fortnightly on Saturday at 3.00 pm.
Monthly Full moon day programme is organised on the nearest Saturday of the actual Poya day.
Dhamma discussion session, Dhamma class and language class programmes are conducted once a month in High Wycombe.
Annual events such as the Sri Lankan New Year, Vesak Celebrations, Poson Celebrations, Esala Celebrations and the Kathina Ceremony are organised in a highly appreciative manner.
The Venerable monks visit local schools and hospitals on invitation and engage in religious activities in other Buddhist temples and Buddhist associations in the UK and Europe.
The mortgage, utility bills and other recurrent expenditures adds to £2000 a month. Generous members of the community help in maintaining the building and the garden.
How to help
- The well wishes are welcome to help the vihara by following means.
- Financial donations (monthly/yearly subscription, standing order)
- Sponsoring events
- Providing four requisites to resident monks
- Helping to organize events
- Helping to upkeep the building and the garden