On 11th June, in a lay ordination ceremony at the Priory, Jeremy Norman committed himself to live by the Precepts and formally became a Buddhist. This profound and joyous ceremony was attended by several Sangha members and it was an opportunity for us all to reaffirm our commitment to the Life of Buddha. We offer our congratulations to Jeremy on taking this important step and wish him well in his ongoing training.
It was a pleasure to have Rev. Master Mugo visit the Priory for a few days at the end of May. She joined us for an afternoon retreat on the Saturday and a Renewing the Precepts Ceremony on the Sunday. Rev. Master Mugo is the lay ministry advisor for the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives and she was able to see most of the East Anglian lay ministers during her travels through the area. Back in the 1990s, when she was Prior at the Reading Priory, Rev. Master Mugo visited the Norwich meditation group and it was fitting that some of the Sangha members from that time were able to meet up with her again on this occasion.
The day retreat in Wymondham on 22nd April was well-attended by members of both the Norwich and Cambridge Sanghas and people came from as far afield as Hunstanton. These retreats are an opportunity for us to get a sense of belonging to a wider Sangha and it is a joy to spend the day meditating and practising with others in this way. As always, the Fairland Church Centre, with its high ceiling and light, airy feel was an ideal place for the retreat. The focus of the day was on perception and judgementalism. Thanks to those who helped with the organisation of retreat, which enabled it to run very smoothly.
The celebration of Wesak, the Festival of the Birth of the Buddha, on the following weekend, was another joyful occasion. Several Sangha members came along to the ceremony and ladled water over the baby Buddha. Coffee and popcorn added to the festive feel of the morning.
We shall be having our Summer Party on Sunday 9th July, from midday. This relaxed and informal gathering of Sangha and family will take place in Erpingham in North Norfolk, where it was held last year. Please bring some vegetarian food to share. There will be lifts available from the Priory at 11.00am. Please contact the Priory for more details.
The Priory will be closed 24th – 31st July. The Sangha will be able to meet together on the evening of Wednesday 26th July, as usual.
Our annual day retreat in Cambridge will be held on Saturday 14th October. More details will follow nearer the time.
New bank account
We are in the process of changing our bank account. This is because the CAF Bank is now charging a monthly fee on accounts and also because our Treasurer is no longer able to pay in deposits locally, due to branch closures. So, we’re switching to an account with Lloyds Bank. The donations page of this website has been updated with the details of the new account. Thank you to all of you with standing orders who have switched your regular donation to our new account.
The Priory is supported solely by donations. As things currently stand, the Priory is functioning with an annual shortfall of about £2,000. If our income and expenses didn’t alter, we have sufficient reserves to be able to continue for some years. However, costs are inevitably rising, so any additional donations are always very gratefully received.
To everyone who helps in various ways with Priory tasks, a big ‘thank you’, with particular gratitude for the following: organising the changeover to our new bank account; doing the book-keeping and accounts; cleaning and tidying the Priory and its garden; and looking after the Priory when I’m away.
With best wishes and in gassho,