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Buddhism in Ipswich

Our history

  • 1986 Rex Smart starts running meditation classes in Spring Road.
  • 1988 Classes move to a house in Bramford Road.
  • 1989 Buddhist community founded at Palmerston Road. 3-4 classes per week take place there.
  • 1990 Rex Smart ordained as Saddharaja. Sumana moves to Ipswich in October. Evolution gift shop founded in October. Mangala and Sarvasiddhi move to Ipswich to help out for a while.
  • 1992 Jnanamitra moves to Ipswich in June, a year after being ordained.
  • 1992 Classes moved to Co-op Education Centre on Upper Orwell St.
  • 1993 In January the charity 'FWBO Ipswich' founded with Sumana as Chairman, Saddharaja and Jnanamitra as Trustees with Saddhaloka as 'Honorary Grandfather'.Paramajyoti moves here to live in the community and work in the shop.
  • 1995 Buddhist community 'Maitriloka' founded at Newark Close in February. Paramajyoti leaves Ipswich.Sumana leaves in July and Jnanamitra becomes Chair. Ratnaguna becomes un-official President.
  • 1996 Jnanamitra's Uncle Bob died aged 100 and a half - and leaves her a legacy - we could buy a community with a loan from Jnanamitra!
  • 1997 Classes moved to the Unicorn Centre, Foundation St (now demolished).
  • During the summer Steve Wilson ordained as Harsharatna.
  • House on Hadleigh Road bought as a new home for 'Maitriloka' community in July with the help of Uncle Bob's legacy.
  • 1999 In May Saddharaja leaves for Windhorse Trading, Cambridge. Ratnaguna resigns as President. Amoghavajra becomes Men's Mitra Convenor.
  • 2000 Unicorn Centre becomes unavailable in March. Classes become peripatetic; rooms used at the Library, the Town Hall, and Suffolk College (courtesy of SIFRE) in a Portacabin!
  • 2000 In April Srivandana moves to Ipswich from Brighton.
  • Bodhivamsa ( from Colchester Buddhist Centre) joins the Ipswich teaching team. In June Vidyavajra is ordained on a 4 month course in Guhyaloka Retreat Centre in Spain
  • 2000 Lease signed on premises at 5 Thoroughfare in October.
  • 2001 In June Roger Evans, who worked in the Evolution Shop ordained as Gunasara, Martin Hillary ordained as Dayasara.
  • 2001 In July Ipswich Buddhist Centre officially opens. Spiritual opening by Sanghadevi; secular opening by the Mayor of Ipswich.
  • 2002 In July, J˝anamitra (representing Suffolk Buddhists) meets the Queen and receives a royal handshake during the Jubilee tour. Vidyavajra moves to Cambridge.
  • 2003 In September Advayamati joins the teaching team at the Centre doing courses.
  • 2004 In June Martin O'Connor, who works in the Evoluition Shop is ordained as Sukavi.
  • 2005 'Higher Evolution' complementary activities launched in September.
  • 2006 Amoghavajra joins the teaching team. In December Jnanamitra retires and Amoghavajra becomes the new Chairman.
  • 2007 Harshaprabha and Bodhivamsa run a class in Woodbridge.
  • 2008 In June Swadipa is ordained at Guhyaloke Retreat Centre in Spain.
  • In September the Maitriloka community in Hadleigh community closes, the building is sold. Harshaprabha starts leading Drop-In class.
  • 2009 In January we purchase premises that will function as our new centre. In May, Acalavajri is ordained locally and then went to Akashavana Retreat Centre in Spain.
  • 2009 In June Buddhasiha is ordained at Guhyaloka, Spain.
  • In July Sangharakshita visits Ipswich to officially open the new centre at 4 Friars Bridge Road.
  • 2010 On April 8th the Western Buddhist Order changes it's name to Triratna Buddhist Order. The new name reflects the worldwide nature of the Order and it's strong connection with the Buddhist tradition.
  • .......and so the adventure continues to unfold.....