BLIA Manchester
 

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BLIA Manchester

Origins

Many years ago, there were some Buddhist groups around Manchester that misled people and pirated away their money, thus confused them and caused them to shy away from Buddhism. Nevertheless, there were several devoted Buddhists who were searching unceasingly for a genuine Buddhist temple and, eventually, came across London Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple on the newspapers.

On the 20th of June 1993, Chen Hui Lien and other representatives went to London Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple to request for the introduction of Buddhist organisation to Manchester. Venerable Hui Hai, then director of the temple, gave his kind permission and, on the 6th and the 20th of July, came to Manchester to give Dharma lectures at the Town Hall and the New Pearl City Restaurant, spreading the nectar of Buddhism. A directive was also drafted to help set up BLIA Manchester.

On the 24th of July, when Venerable Master Hsing Yun held the refuge ceremony at London Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, more than ten adherents from Manchester attended the ceremony and gained the Venerable Master's permission for setting up the preparatory committee for the formation of BLIA Manchester, and were appointed to various positions of responsibility. At the beginning of August, Venerable Yi I, the new director of the London Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, was appointed as the supervising venerable responsible of overseeing the operation and activities of the preparatory committee.

For the smooth running of chanting services and administrative activities, Venerable Yi I and Venerable Chueh Yann came to Manchester on the 17th of August to guide the members on the committee matters. It was decided then to set the temporary address of the organisation on the 4th floor of 59-61 Faulkner Street in China Town, provided by the Secretary Mr. Tao Hau Yuen.

The BLIA Manchester Preparatory Committee and Fo Guang Buddhist Propagation Centre were established on the 22nd of August, and, starting on the 24th of August, regular chanting services were held every Tuesday at 3pm, led by members of the Sangha on the second and the fourth weeks of each month and by committee members aided with audio cassettes. Other activities followed as well.

On his first visit to Manchester on the 20th of August 1994, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Chairman of BLIA, held the official chartering of BLIA Manchester and the Three Refuges Ceremony in person at the Manchester Central Library. The BLIA flag and certificates were issued in front of more than three hundred participants, and the offices of the first committee were as follows: Chen Hui Lien as the Chairperson, Ong See Yew and Cheung Pui Yuk as the Deputy Chairpersons, Tao Hau Yuen as the Secretary, Cheng Fung Mui and Au Yeung Yuk Lan as the Treasurers, and Lee Kun Yu, Cheung Ming and Leong Sing Wah as the Operation Committee Members.

Present activities

Over the years, BLIA Manchester has been working closely with the temple in supporting the members and propagating the Dharma.