BGKT 2012 News

Updated 25th November 2012

2012

November 2012

NATIONAL INTERFAITH WEEK 18-27 November 2012

THE KENDAL PILOT PROJECT

The collaboration between BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) and Kendal Fire Station, was born out of the Fire Service looking to engage with and also wishing to have an understanding of the cultures and faiths that make up our wider community. Jacquetta Gomes (BGKT Secretary) has been instrumental in making contact with and arranging meetings with faith groups and leaders. This familiarisation will be invaluable, were we to attend an incident, or provide fire safety visits to our minority groups. The understanding learned through visits/talks from specialists (including Venerable Piyatissa and Sufi Nuh Nazir) will allow us to support the cultures and faiths in Cumbria in a more meaningful way.” Will Richardson, Service Delivery Manager, Kendal Locality Office CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service. The Pilot Project is led by Fire Officer Will Richardson and Jacquetta Gomes. (Jacquetta Gomes is Advisor on Interfaith and Multifaith to Fire Officer Daryl Oprey CFOA Chief Fire officers Association Lead on Equality & Diversity and CFOA E & D Group.)

Islamic Sufi Nuh Nazir led the Travelling Zikr at Kendal Fire Station Community Room on Saturday 24th November as part of the Kendal Pilot Project. The meeting was led by Fire Officer Will Richardson.

November 2012

NIF NATIONAL INTERFAITH WEEK 18-27 November 2012

Islamic Sufi Nuh Nazir led the Travelling Zikr at Kendal Unitarian Chapel on 23rd November. This was organized by SLIF South Lakeland Interfaith Forum and KEG Kendal Ecumenical Group.

November 2012

NIF NATIONAL INTERFAITH WEEK 18-27 November2012

The Mayor of Kendal Councillor John Willshaw invited SLIF South Lakeland Interfaith Forum, representatives of local faith groups, the Chair of SLEDP South Lakeland Equality and Diversity Partnership, and CFRS Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (representing agencies), for a celebration in the Mayor’s Parlour in Kendal Town Hall on Thursday 22nd November. A booklet of the readings given by the invitees was prepared by SLIF. Upasaka Sumedha John Gerrard read The Metta Sutta (The Discourse on Loving Kindness) in English, on behalf of BGKT. Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili read The Golden Rule, on behalf of KWMMG Kendal Women’s Multifaith Meditation Group. Gloria Warwick BME and Migrant Workers Advocate represented CFRS Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and local agencies.

November 2012

Jacquetta Gomes attended the Road Peace Service of Prayer and Dedication, on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, at St John The Evangelist Church on Barrow Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, on 18th November.

November 2012

NIF NATIONAL INTERFAITH WEEK 18-27 November2012

Celebrating Our Faiths NIF National Interfaith Week Event in Kendal

SLEDP (South Lakeland Equality and Diversity Partnership) and SLIF (South Lakeland Interfaith Forum) presented Celebrating Our Faiths, on 17th November, the eve of National Interfaith Week (NIF). The meeting was held at South Lakes Foyer in Kendal. There were information stalls from local faith organisations, and a discussion session led by the SLIF committee. The organisers brought practitioners of many faiths and paths together to share their insights and practices and to learn from each other. Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Secretary of BGKT was the SLEDP Lead for this event.

CFRS Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service had a stall, which included information about the Pilot Project at Kendal Fire Station between CFRS and BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada). Several faith groups offered their support for the expansion of the Pilot Project to include other faiths in 2013.

November 2012
Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili became Advisor on Interfaith and Multifaith to Fire Officer Daryl Oprey CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association Lead on Equality & Diversity and CFOA E & D Group, on 7th November 2012.

As a result of this role with CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association, Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili was also acknowledged as an advisor to the FRSCA (The Fire Service Chaplains Association for Great Britain and Islands) on 8th November 2012.

October 2012

Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham and Venerable Galopottayaye Pemananda of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, led a discussion with Simone Garnett BME and Migrant Workers Advocate at Kendal Fire Station, CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service, as part of the Pilot Project at Kendal Fire Station, on 19th October 2012. This was attended by Upasaka Sumedha (John Gerrard) and Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili (Jacquetta Gomes) of BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal Theravada.

October 2012

MANCHESTER BUDDHIST CONVENTION 2012

The 2012 Convention was held at Manchester University Chaplaincy on 13th October.

The Conference Session BUDDHISTS, FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE WORKING TOGETHER IN CUMBRIA was led by Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa (Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, Oldham, and Chaplain to Manchester University); Jacquetta Gomes (Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili) (Secretary, Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada)); and Fire Officer Daryl Oprey (CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association Lead on Equality & Diversity).

Venerable Piyatissa explained how mindfulness can be devloped to help all the parties (firefighters and victims) to face and overcome difficult emergency situations. Fire Officer Oprey explained the national developments taking place. Jacquetta Gomes explained the Pilot Project at Kendal Fire Station.

Contributions from CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service, about the Kendal Fire Station Pilot Project were read out:

“THE KENDAL PILOT PROJECT
The collaboration between Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) and Kendal Fire Station, was born out of the Fire Service looking to engage with and also wishing to have an understanding of the cultures and faiths that make up our wider community. Jacquetta Gomes (BGKT Secretary) has been instrumental in making contact with and arranging meetings with faith groups and leaders. This familiarisation will be invaluable, were we to attend an incident, or provide fire safety visits to our minority groups. The understanding learned through visits/talks from specialists (including Venerable Piyatissa and Sufi Nuh Nazir) will allow us to support the cultures and faiths in Cumbria in a more meaningful way.” Will Richardson,
Service Delivery Manager, Kendal Locality Office CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

“It is the ongoing aim and commitment of CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service to provide excellent fire prevention and emergency services to all our community members in Cumbria. In order to do this we need to continually seek greater understanding of the changing and evolving nature of the communities that we serve. As Rev Dr Braybrooke President of the WCF World Congress of Faiths, wrote in his letter to our Chief Fire Officer, Dominic Harrison – “…those engaged in the service of the community can be helped by the leaders of faith communities to show sensitivity to the beliefs and pattern of life of members of minority communities.” Leaders of faith communities, people like yourself, help us immeasurably to engage fully with minority communities with open dialogue where we can make sure our life saving advice and services can be accurate, sensitive and inclusive. As an organisation we also benefit from understanding and welcoming diversity into the Fire Service itself, so that our dedicated personnel are a reflection of the increasingly diverse community that we seek to serve.” Simone Garnett, BME Advocate Kendal Fire Station, CFRS Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

September 2012

Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili, Chief Constable Stuart Hyde QPM, and Fire Officer Will Richardson (Service Delivery Manager Kendal Locality Office), have written an article “Buddhists, Fire and Rescue Service and Police Working Together in Cumbria”, Faith Initiative, Issue 27 (September, 2012) 10. Available online at www.faithinitiative.co.uk/

September 2012

Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa (born in Sri Lanka) Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham led a retreat for BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) at Kendal Fire Station community room on 30th September 2012.

(As far as we are aware he led the first retreat led by a Buddhist Monk to take place in an operative Fire Station in the UK, at Kendal Fire Station in September 2011.)

September 2012

BGKT visited Harnham Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery (Thai Forest Tradition) in Northumberland on 6th September. They had an audience with the Abbot Luang Poh Munindo.

August 2012

Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham gave a talk and led a question and answer session for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service personnel at Kendal Fire Station community room, on 7th August 2012. The meeting was chaired by Fire Officer Will Richardson (Service Delivery Manager Kendal Locality Office) and attended by Gloria Warwick BME & Migrant Workers Advocate Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and members of BGKT.

(As far as we are aware Venerable Piyatissa led the first retreat led by a Buddhist Monk to take place in an operative Fire Station in the UK, at Kendal Fire Station in September 2011.)

July 2012

Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa (born in Sri Lanka) Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Oldham led a retreat for BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) at Kendal Fire Station community room on 29th July 2012.

(As far as we are aware he led the first retreat led by a Buddhist Monk to take place in an operative Fire Station in the UK, at Kendal Fire Station in September 2011.)

July 2012

Kendal Civic Celebration for Mayor’s Sunday 2012

Kendal Civic Celebration for Mayor’s Sunday led by The Worshipful the Town Mayor Councillor John Willshaw on Sunday 1st July 2012, included an invitation from the Mayor to SLIF South Lakeland Interfaith Forum and all faith groups in Kendal.

Jacquetta Gomes (Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili) represented BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada), KWMMG Kendal Womens Multifaith Meditation Group and SLIF South Lakeland Interfaith Forum.

She walked in the Civic Procession from the Town Hall to The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity for the Civic Service. Refreshments were served in the Mayors Parlour in Kendal Town Hall afterwards.

June 2012

Members of BGKT attended the teachings and public talk during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Manchester Arena on June 17th and 18th. The Bishop of Manchester Rt. Reverend Nigel McCulloch attended this event and said a Prayer.

June 2012

SLIF SOUTH LAKELAND INTERFAITH FORUM

South Lakeland Interfaith Forum has organized a series of meditation sessions. The series draws on different faith traditions and each will be suitable for those new to meditation. SLIF hopes to bring practitioners of many faiths and paths together to share their insights and practices and to learn from each other.

John Gerrard Upasaka Sumedha leader of Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) led the SLIF meditation session on Buddhist Meditation on Thursday June 7th 2012.

May 2012

Gloria Warwick BME & Migrant Workers Advocate Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Jacquetta Gomes attended a discussion about NIF National Interfaith Week 2012, with the Mayor of Kendal Councillor John Willshaw in the Mayor’s Parlour in Kendal Town Hall, on 31st May. A photoshoot followed. The Mayor invited Gloria Warwick to represent the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies at the NIF Week event in the Mayor’s Parlour in November 2012.

A photograph from the photoshoot, is on the MBC Manchester Buddhist Convention website.
www.manchesterbuddhistconvention.wordpress.com

May 2012

The Kendal Town Council Annual General Meeting & Mayor Making Ceremony for Mayor Councillor John Willshaw was held in Kendal Town Hall on 17th May 2012.

Upasaka Sumedha (John Gerrard) represented BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada); Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili (Jacquetta Gomes) represented KWMMG Kendal Womens Multifaith Meditation Group; Rev John Hetherington (SLIF Secretary) represented SLIF South Lakeland Interfaith Forum; and Amanda Reynolds represented Kendal Unitarian Chapel.

May 2012

The Mayor of Kendal Councillor Jonathan Brook attended BGKT’s Wesak celebrations on May 5th at Kendal URC United Reformed Church.

April 2012

Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili Jacquetta Gomes from BGKT met Fire Officers Steve Healy and Will Richardson at Kendal Fire Station on 30th April to discuss Buddhist working with the Fire Service and to discuss the Pilot Project for this at Kendal Fire Station. This Project was set up and developed by Fire Officer Steve Healey (Locality Manager Kendal), Fire Officer Will Richardson (Service Delivery Manager Kendal Locality Office) and Gloria Warwick BME & Migrant Workers Advocate from the Fire Service and Jacquetta Gomes from BGKT. The Pilot Project is led by Fire Officer Will Richardson and Jacquetta Gomes. Fire Officer Suzanne Wainwright and Simone Garnett BME & Migrant Workers Advocate are now helping to run the Pilot Project.

Rev Dr Marcus Braybrooke President of the World Congress of Faiths stated “I am most impressed to hear about the imaginative way in which the Kendal Fire Station Community Room is being used and especially the hospitality shown to local faith communities … I am especially interested in the fact that Buddhist retreats have been held in the Community Room”.

April 2012

BBC Radio Cumbria interviewed Titus Gomes about Wesak on the Sunday Breakfast Show on 29th April.

January 2012

BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) is celebrating 20 years in Kendal. BGKT wish to thank everyone who has helped the Group and given support over the past twenty years.

In 1991 when plans were made to set up BGKT, Venerable Dr Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Aggamaha Pandita Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru DLitt DLitt (1896-1998) (one of the world’s most senior Theravada Buddhist Bhikkhus (Monks), and Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera (an internationally respected meditation master and author who has been resident in the USA for many years), agreed to become BGKT’s spiritual advisors.

Quaker Tapestry www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk

The first BGKT meeting was held on 10th January 1992 at the Quakers Friends Meeting House in Kendal. In 2002 BGKT sponsored a seat in the Quaker Tapestry Tearooms at the Meeting House, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of BGKT. The plaque on the chair reads Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) held its first meeting at Kendal Friends Meeting House 10th January 1992. Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera visited the Quaker Tapestry in 1995. Chris Ward, NBO Network of Buddhist Organisations Secretary, visited in 2006.

Fellside Centre www.fellside.org

The first public open BGKT meeting was held on 11th January 1992 at Fellside Centre. BGKT continues to hold its open meetings at Fellside Centre. Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera taught at Fellside Centre in 1993 and 1995. Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa Maha Thera, Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara, has been conducting teaching sessions for BGKT at Fellside Centre since 1999. Other Bhikkhus (Monks) have visited BGKT at Fellside Centre. Venerable Medagama Vajiragnana Mahanayaka Thera, Aggamaha Saddhammajothika Dhaja, Vishvakeerthi Sri Sasana Sobhana, Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain and Head of the London Buddhist Vihara (1928-2006) taught at Fellside Centre in 2000. Venerable Witharandeniye Kassapa Maha Thera (Head of MIBAUK The Midlands International Buddhist Association in the UK in Birmingham) was the Preceptor when the Panca Sila (Five Precepts) were offered for the first time in Kendal to Upasaka Sumedha and Upasaka Mahinda in 1997. The Unitarian Minister and his wife attended.

Theravada