Vesakha Puja and Renovation Update

We had our Vesakha Puja celebration here on Sunday. The weather could not have been better as a crowd of about 100 turned up to remember the Buddha’s life and Teachings and take part in the festivities. We’ll post some photos soon. Just under £1000 was raised. Anumodana to everybody who took part!

We are also very pleased to say that the renovation work is almost complete.

The Shrine Room windows are finished. We have two double-glazed tilt-and-turn windows behind the shrine, which are also frosted so as not to detract from the shrine. There is also a new window on the end wall to the right. In the photos you can also see Andy’s handy brick work on the outside of the shrine room wall where the old windows had been,

You can also see our lovely new guest room upstairs. Andy put up the new wall and did the electrics and plumbing, while Ajahn Manapo attended to the cracks in the ceiling, decorated it, and built the cupboards. John our friendly carpet fitter put in the new carpet.

So, all we have left now is to fit the new water system and get the meditation cushions and bamboos for the hedge. And, of course, pay for it all!

We have now raised over £9,000 towards the renovation appeal. So that means just over £15,000 to go toward our goal is £25,000. Anumodana and well done to everybody who has contributed!

Thank You and Well Done!

A big thank you and well done to everyone who attended our Songkran festival and made it such a special day.

The sun came out to warm us all as we took the Refuges and Precepts, offered food to the monks, tucked into the delicious Thai food, and then paid our respects to the Buddha and Sangha in the traditional way – by pouring water over the Buddha image and the monks’ hands.

The very generous donations for the day totalled £3,177.82. Adding the £605 that was donated at Khun Yod’s restaurant in Nottingham on the Saturday, this means £3,782.82 was raised at the weekend. Anumodana and well done to everyone who contributed!

The renovation appeal is going very well too. So far we have raised over £7,300. Fantastic!

Mark Bowen

BDF Treasurer.

(Photos courtesy of Khun Peter, Parinya and Jum Bradley)

Songkran Flyer Header 2014

Dear Friends in the Dhamma,

Songkran, the Thai, Burmese, Cambodian and Sri Lankan New Year, is every year celebrated from April 13th – 15th and in some places for several days after. It is an opportunity to make merit, to re-affirm the Refuges and Precepts, and with the pouring and sprinkling of water to offer one’s respects to the Buddha, to members of the Sangha, to one’s elders and to each other.

Luang Por and Ajahn Manapo have been invited to YodSiam Restaurant in Beeston, Nottingham for Songkran on Saturday, April 12th, from 10:30.

The Songkran Celebration at The Forest Hermitage will be on Sunday, April 13th. Please do your best to arrive by around 10am to be ready for us to start at 10:30. The programme for the day is given below.

Unfortunately we have no room for parking so we must ask you to park along the lane to the South and past the Forest Hermitage, on the right-hand verge. You may of course drop off passengers, food and offerings at the gate. There will be helpers on hand to assist you and to direct parking.

The Programme

10:30 Pay Respects and take the Refuges and Precepts

10:45 Almsround – offering almsfood to the Sangha

11:30 Lunch for Laity

12;30 Dhamma Talk

12:45 Bathing of the Buddha Rupa and the Sangha

13:45 Blessing and Sharing of Merit
If you would like to help with the preparations the day before, or on the day itself, or with clearing up afterwards, we would be very grateful and it would be helpful if you could let us know in advance.

We hope you will be able to be with us on Sunday, April 13th and that you will enjoy the day.

Yours in the Dhamma,

The Buddha-Dhamma Fellowship Committee


The Forest Hermitage Renovation Appeal

Over the years, certain areas of the Forest Hermitage have deteriorated significantly.  A renovation project is now under way to bring the Hermitage up to a suitable standard for resident monks and the visiting lay-community.

It is worth mentioning that none of this would be happening if we hadn’t found Andy, our highly skilled and sympathetic builder. He does a precise and thorough job, as you will see when you visit the Hermitage.

The renovation programme includes the following projects, some of which have been completed and partially paid for:

1. The Conservatories

Replacement of roof plus smaller repairs: £4,000

Replacement of doors: 3 sliding doors @ £550 each; 2 French doors @ £650 each

Under-rug heating mat: £480

Total Conservatory Cost: £7,500

2. Upstairs Monks’ Bathroom

Total back-to-brickwork renovation therefore very labour-intensive (hence high cost). Includes new bathroom suite, new insulation boards, tiling, floor, etc.

Larger items include the following:

French window (doubles as fire-escape): £450

Bathroom tiling: £400

Shower bath and screen: £200

Swivel taps: £200

Concealed shower unit: £150

Total Bathroom Cost: £7,000

3. The Shrine Room

Two new opening windows for the back wall: £500 each DONATION GRATEFULLY RECEIVED

Renovation of exterior brickwork, gutter replacement, etc.: £1500

Two under-rug heating mats: £440 each TWO DONATIONS GRATEFULLY RECEIVED

Total Cost: £3,500 (£1,600 NOW LEFT TO PAY)

4. Water System Replacement

Replacing the very old water supply system, including the well pump, water tanks, etc.

Total Cost: £4,000

5. Upstairs Bedroom Conversion

Conversion and renovation of upstairs bedroom into a single room and a storage area, including fitting new carpets and cupboards.

New partition wall, electrics, radiator, etc: £1,000

New carpet: £400

New cupboards: £200

Total Cost: £2500

Smaller Projects:

  1. Replacing our 30 year old meditation cushions with new buckwheat filled ones. We need 40 cushions – cost: £20 each
  2. Improving the main monastery hedge by planting shade-tolerant bamboos. We need between 20 and 30 bamboos – cost: about £25 each.

The Buddha-Dhamma Fellowship Committee would like to invite you to contribute towards our renovation project.  Contributions can be made as a group or individually.  You may also wish to sponsor a particular part of the renovation programme listed above.  In the case that your chosen renovation programme has been sponsored by another group or individual, the Committee will allocate your contribution to another deserving renovation item at its discretion.

Ways to Donate (Please don’t miss the information on Gift Aid at the bottom)

When donating please specify ‘The Forest Hermitage Renovation Project’ and if it is towards a particular item please state which one (if you print the form below you can specify these things). If you contribute by Debit Card or online then please send us an email or a note stating this.

Cheques: Please make cheques payable to  ‘The Forest Hermitage’ and send to The Forest Hermitage, Lower Fulbrook, Nr. Sherbourne, Warwickshire CV35 8AS.

Online: You can donate online here:

Debit Card: Please pay to the Yorkshire Bank, 47 – 49 Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5JR, to the credit of the Buddha-Dhamma Fellowship, Account No. 45325897, Sort-code 05-05-58.

An Important Note on Gift Aid

If you are a UK tax payer then you can help us by confirming that you would like us to claim Gift Aid on your donation. This allows us to claim from the Government 25p of tax for every £1 you donate. This means that if you donate £100 we can claim another £25. It is obviously a massive help.

In order to confirm that you would like this please read the paragraph below to check whether you are eligible. If you are, you can click Gift Aid when you donate online, use a Gift Aid envelope at the Hermitage, or print off a Gift Aid slip and send it with a cheque (Gift Aid slip for printing appearing shortly…).

‘In order for your donation to be eligible for Gift Aid you need to be paying an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for the current tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that the Forest Hermitage will reclaim on your gifts for the current tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. If you tick the Gift Aid box we can reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that you have given.’

Thank you for your support.

Mark Bowen, Treasurer, on behalf of the BDF

Renovation Form




Songkran at the Forest Hermitage, 13 April 2014

We invite you to join us in celebrating Songkran, the Thai, Burmese and Sri Lankan New Year.

The programme:

10 am: Arrival.

10:30 am: Morning chanting. Taking of three refuges and five precepts.

11 am: Offering of food to Sangha. Vegetarian lunch to share.

12:30 pm: Bathing of the Buddha image, Sangha members, and each other!

1:15 pm: Dhamma Talk and offering of requisites to Sangha.
2 pm:  Finish.

Bring vegetarian food to eat and share!

There will be a free coach coming from London, leaving at 8am from Marylebone Station, anyone who would like to come on that please contact Khun Gung on 07561 306282.