Celebrating Contributions of Buddhist Community In Bedford

Bedford Buddhists Community Celebratory Reception

His Worshipful Mayor in Bedford Mr Dave Hodgson hosted a special celebratory reception in Borough Hall Council Chamber to appreciate the contributions of Venerable Akurala Samitha and the Buddhist Community in Bedford

 Bedford Worshipful Mayor Congratulates

Buddhist Community

Ministered By Venerable Akurala Samitha

Sinhala Lankadeepa News Paper Report  By Tissa Madawala Click Below:

The Worshipful Mayor of Bedford Borough Council Mr Dave Hodgson hosted a Special Celebratory Reception at the Bedford Borough Hall Council Chamber on Tuesday 12th June 2012 at 7PM to recognise and appreciate the contributions of the Buddhist Community in Bedfordshire, under the leadership of Venerable Akurala Samitha, head monk of Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Cultural Centre.

This reception facilitated opportunities to improve the relationship between local authorities and community members (Buddhists, Sri Lankan, Indian, Meditation & Spiritual Groups etc).

The Worshipful Mayor Mr Dave Hodgson was first elected Mayor in October 2009. He is a Liberal Democrat, and prior to becoming Mayor he was a Councillor for the Kingsbrook Ward from 2002. He was re-elected in May 2011, and his current term of office as Mayor is until May 2015.

Bedford Borough Council is one of only 14 Councils in the country to have a Directly Elected Mayor. Unlike the more traditional ceremonial Mayors, Directly Elected Mayors have wide decision making powers and Mayor Hodgson provides the political leadership of the Council as well as being the Borough’s First Citizen. Together with the Councillors he has appointed to his Executive, Mayor Hodgson is responsible for the majority of Council Services.

Venerable Akurala Samitha is the Official Buddhist Representative of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) both at Central Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire Councils. A SACRE's main function is "to advise the authority upon such matters connected with religious worship in county schools and the religious education to be given in accordance with an agreed syllabus" and to advise on matters relating to training for teachers in RE and Collective Worship.

It is a privilege for him to share his experiences as a Buddhist monk for 28 years and a meditation teacher for 20 years besides the academic credentials in Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Psychotherapy, Counselling, Stress Management and Comparative Religions.

In honour of Venerable Akurala Samitha, His Worshipful Mayor appointed him to chair the Chamber Meeting. Buddhist community was extremely humble for the privilege given by His Worshipful Mayor by hosting the reception in the Chamber itself, which was a rare opportunity.

His Worshipful Mayor welcomed the gathering and appreciated contributions to the community. Venerable Akurala Samitha also gave a speech explaining his involvements in the community service. Mr Aruna Weerasinghe explained in brief about Buddhism and the existence of Buddhist Community in Bedfordshire. Mr Arun Kumar delivered a short speech on behalf of Indian Community explaining the history and existence of Indian Buddhist Community in Bedfordshire. Representing English Community, a member of Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Cultural Centre Mrs Cheryl Green explained the benefits of the Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya Buddhist Cultural Centre into a wider spectrum of Bedfordshire Community and deeply appreciated Venerable Akurala Samitha’s incredible devotion and hardworking dedication in visiting schools, nursing homes and doing many more other services.

Eventually his Worshipful Mayor and the Community members had a great opportunity to meet each other and discuss many issues for a better society whilst enjoying a wonderful refreshments time.

A large number of community representatives were attended by invitation to the reception. It was encouraged to host annually.


The Worshipful Mayor Mr Dave Hodgson with Bedford Buddhist Community Representatives

Buddhist Community Representatives Sitting in the Council Chamber

Venerable Akurala Samitha Chair the Chamber Meeting

Venerable Akurala Samitha with Mayor Dave Hodgson & Mrs Cheryl Green

Venerable Akurala Samitha Giving a Gift to the Mayor

Venerable Akurala Samitha with Mr Aruna Weerasinghe who delivered a speech on Buddhism & Sri Lanka

Venerable Samitha & Mayor Dave with Indian Buddhist Community Representatives

Worshipful Mayor Dave Hodgson with Sri Lankan Buddhist Community Members

Worshipful Mayor Dave Hodgson with Milton Keynes Sri Lankan Buddhist Community Members

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

Bedford Buddhist Community Reception

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