The ISKCON Redbridge centre, which is located in east London, opened with the aim of bringing together local devotees and to give others the opportunity to learn about and practice the process of Krsna consciousness. Now it is much than a venue – it serves as the focal point of the local devotee community.
Celebrations last month started with a harinam in Ilford town centre led by Kripamoya das, who plays an advisory role for the community. The programme included a Servant of the Servant awards ceremony, which followed the theme of the Olympics with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded. Four graduates from the Bhakti Sastri course were awarded certificates for passing the course that was at the centre as well.
Vishal Merai, chairman of the community’s leadership committee, commented “Our anniversary event allowed us to celebrate our progress to date and show our gratitude to the many people that have helped make ISKCON Redbridge a success over the last 12 months. Going forward, we will look to continue to endeavour to achieve our aim of developing ISKCON Redbridge into a community of care that empowers those that show an interest in the movement and to continually experiment so that we can remain vibrant in the ways in which we present Vedic teachings and culture in the context of modern, British society.”
ISKCON Redbridge runs various weekly activities that include a Sunday Feast class, Krishna Club for children, Bhakti Vriksha sessions, hatha yoga as well as Bhagavad Gita, Sanskrit and harmonium classes. The community has celebrated several festivals over the last 12 months, such as Govardhan Puja, Gaura Purinma and Janmastami. The Janmastami festival attracted 170 people and the programme consisted of a talk, Krishna bhajans and a harmonium performance.
The ISKCON Redbridge community will be supported by Avanti Court Primary School, one of the latest I-Foundation schools, which is due to open its doors in September 2012 and will have almost 900 children attending when it runs at full capacity.