We are so sorry to say that The Forest Hermitage is still firmly locked down with no events, no Monday and Friday evening sittings, no guests and no visitors. And we have no idea yet when anything like normal service might be resumed. A change has already been made to the Shrine Room which will enable Luangpor to sit at a reasonably safe distance but before meetings in there can take place we have been considering sittings in the garden. However, nothing has yet been decided on.
As you can imagine this inactivity has affected our support and we are therefore trying to maximise and care for our resources. We are currently preparing our Gift Aid applications. This is the scheme that as many of you know enables a charity to claim the tax that donors have already paid on money they have donated. It increases the value of your donation by 25%. To do this we have to have the permission of the donors and to be able to produce the evidence if necessary. We know that many of you have wished for your donations to attract Gift Aid but we are not always now in possession of the form or envelope that you might have filled in and therefore we are uncertain and have no evidence.
If you have made a financial contribution, whether as a one-off donation or as a standing order, and are willing for us to claim back the tax you’ve paid please could you kindly complete this Gift Aid Form and send it to us by post or by email. This one-off form covers donations made during the last four years and into the future. If you are not sure of the name of the charity, either leave that blank and we will complete that or complete two separate forms, one for the Buddha-Dhamma Fellowship and one for the Forest Hermitage Trust. The Buddha-Dhamma Fellowship supports the Forest Hermitage Trust which owns and administers the properties and pays all the bills. Essentially, the BDF is a support body, while the FHT is the owner with all the financial responsibilities. Once again, this is the Gift Aid Form. We are, of course, very grateful for whatever support you can give us.
Maureen Leahy, who many of you know, a long time supporter and resident at Bhavana Dhamma (Wood Cottage) will be celebrating a big birthday on June 30th when she will be 90. I hope you will join in wishing her a Very Happy Birthday.
We will keep you posted about any plans for relaxing our lockdown.