As you might expect we are starting to prepare for the opening of the Centre. When that will be is not certain and depends upon the Government’s advice. However, it will happen soon so it does need to be considered and action taken.
One of the delightful things that has happened over the last 12 months is that our Sangha has continued to grow. The people of Ipswich are still as much interested in Buddhism as they were in 1985, and probably more so, as people try to make sense of these difficult times we have all experienced over the last 12 months. Our Saturday morning beginners class is lively and expanding. Our Mitra study groups have increased and we now have 8 groups running, some very large.
Many of you will be aware that we were in negotiations to purchase the next door property so that we could extend the Centre. Unfortunately, those negotiations didn’t result in us being able to buy that property. However, that turned out to be a blessing, as the extra cost would have been very difficult to bear in a financially difficult time. What this means is that we will have to make the best use of the Centre that we do have until such time that we can afford to move to a larger premises.
Over the years that we have been at Friars Bridge Road, we have had to adapt the Centre as the Sangha has grown. Initially the downstairs was divided into 4 rooms, a main room and 3 offices. So we started out with an Office, a Chapter/small meeting room, a kitchen and the main teaching space. As our class sizes have increased we have had to increase the size of the main room, so the office and Chapter room have gone leaving only the kitchen. The time has now come to remove that last room and ensure that the Sangha room is big enough for its main purpose to be a room in which you, the Sangha, can hear and discuss the Dharma.
We haven’t forgotten that Triratna runs on Tea (and biscuits, cake etc) so we are adding a stylish ‘Catering Bar’ so that we can refresh ourselves after the hard work of understanding the dharma. The work will be completed whilst the Centre is having to remain closed, so that it is ready to welcome you later in the year.