The shrine project, the story so far ........On Sat, 28 January, 2017 - 14:17
On Monday 23rd January 2017, Vijayasri and myself were so happy to finally be able to say that the Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Appeal, was coming to fruition. With a planned start date of a few months ago, it has been understandable for people visiting, to feel that nothing has been happening. We can assure you that there has been so much going on behind the scenes, trying to get this project off the ground. We plan on providing a regular blog to update everyone on the progress of the refurbishment projects, with some little sneaky peaks of how it’s looking. To start with, we wanted to give a quick overview of the trials and tribulations of 2016, and the process so far.
Much of the first six months were taken up with researching builders, looking at quotes, simplifying the previous refurbishment plans to allow for more scope of work and generally looking at interesting stuff like heaters, roofs, carpet tiles and lighting. We were very fortunate to have a visit from Abhayanara and Ajjavin, who both did an amazing job re-envisioning Coddington Court, to become Adhisthana, the heart of our movement and home of Bhante Sangharakshita. With a fantastic amount of input, imagination, experience and appreciation of the centre’s needs, Abhayanara and Ajjavin were able to bring together a more complete plan of refurbishment. With Abhayanara providing architectural drawings. In selecting builders, in addition to quote and time estimations, we met with their previous customers, discussed plans and work ethics as well as follow up care on their projects. We were very happy to invite 2SS Contractors Ltd, a local independent contractor, to help us make this project happen.
With great excitement, we planned and organised a spring and summer clearout of the basement, with so many fantastic volunteers working together. With this support and Vijayasri making numerous visits to the recycling yard with full cars, we managed to clear masses amount of detritus that had collected in our basement. Along with the basement, we started clearing the garden and invited sangha members to foster our plans while the work happened. With confidence and excitement, we signed the contract with 2SS Contractors Ltd and planned our start date. However, we met our first delay with building control, where we had to go through a 5 week vetting procedure before they would grant approval. This pushed our start date into November, so with renewed energy, we organised a ritual dissolving of the shrine room. The space was cleared, people were invited to write messages of Dharma and gratitude all over the walls and we had a human chain of cushions and chairs running up to the top floor.
With everything all set to start the second week in November, we hit another delay. Our neighbour expressed concerns around his property being damaged by our scaffolding, and instructed us to contact his chartered surveyor to obtain an access and scaffolding license. We engaged another chartered surveyor to negotiate on our behalf, this however meant that starting before the New Year was not possible and agreed to delay till then. To bring us right up to date, we managed to negotiate an 8 week license for the scaffolding to be on site to enable the roof work to be completed, after which the remaining work wouldn’t affect our neighbour’s property.
Check out the next blog for details of the start of work
If you would like to support our ongoing project, please consider making a donation using the ‘donate’ button to the side on our blog page www.buddhistcentrecroydon.org/shrine-project/4593412974 or check at the centre for a fundraising standing order form.