All are welcome as Great Gaddesden Buddhists open their doors

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Great Gaddesden.
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Great Gaddesden.

The Amaravati Buddhist Monastery at St Margarets in Great Gaddesden is holding an open day and exhibition on Saturday, July 27.

This is an opportunity for local people to meet the Buddhist community living at Amaravati and to get a feel for the Buddhist way of life.

Members of the community will also be offering tours of the monastery and explaining their plans to improve the site during the next 20 to 30 years.

The monastery currently operates out of the original timber buildings, which were constructed in 1939 as a summer camp for children and, following the outbreak of the Second World War, used as a location for evacuation.

After the war ended the site was used as a school and in 1984 was bought by the English Sangha Trust and has been in the stewardship of the trust ever since.

The costs to operate in buildings which are close to, or past, their sell by date has spiralled during the last 10 to 15 years. Consequently the trust decided to develop a masterplan for the regeneration of the whole site, rather than taking a piecemeal approach.

The trust’s aspiration is to replace the existing timber buildings with new buildings that are highly sustainable, in a layout more suited to the activities of a monastery. There is no intention to intensify the use of the site.

The monastic community has been working in conjunction with Dacorum Borough Council and its consultant team to develop a masterplan for the whole site and now wish to encourage local people to attend the open day exhibition between 10am and 4pm at the monastery and comment on the proposals.

Everybody is welcome.