Buddhist monastery to open in AldershotBy Amy Taylor
January 04, 2013
A BUDDHIST monastery could soon be opened in Aldershot after a successful fundraising effort by the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK), which has raised £400,000 for the project.
It would be the first of its kind in the town, with members previously having to travel to London or Oxford to worship.
The monastery is earmarked for the former BT sports and social club, next to Aldershot Town football stadium and by the site of the former fire station.
BCCUK, which was registered as an official charity in 2011, has managed to drum up the £400,000 purchase price to buy the building from previous owners Telereal Trillium.
Damar Ghale, spokesman for BCCUK, said the money was raised largely by a team of more than 250 trustees, each of whom contributed a minimum of £1,000 to hold the position. The rest of the money has come from fundraising and interest-free loans set up by a friend of the charity.
“We introduced trustees in order to raise money more proactively and quickly,” said Mr Ghale. “Having a monastery is a necessity – we do not have a monastery or any form of prayers in the area so we need to facilitate a service for Buddhist people.”
Contracts were exchanged between Telereal Trillium and BCCUK just before Christmas and Mr Ghale confirmed they were now just waiting for the keys to be able to start work on converting the property.
Only internal modifications are required and permission for the change of use.
A monk to lead the monastery – and much of the community outreach work it will take part in – is already being lined up to come to Aldershot from Kathmandu, Nepal, with the aim to have a new monk on rotation every two years.
For more on this story, see this week's Aldershot News & Mail, out now.