LTLRE Taunton Hub
Many of the LTLRE Hubs have now affiliated to NATRE, which is a great indication of the strong partnership between the two organisations. Mrs Katherine Taylor is an HLTA at Kingston St. Mary Primary School and runs workshops on ‘Time to Wonder, reflective storytelling’ as well as being the LTLRE Taunton hub Primary lead.
After such a big turnout in the summer term for our meeting at the Islamic Centre, we decided to meet at Hartridge Buddhist Monastery in the autumn. The monastery could only accommodate 17 people as a maximum, so numbers had to be limited which is a little against the LTLRE ethos. Places were soon filled and a waiting list formed too!
On the day, there were a couple of last minute cancellations which resulted in us being 15 in total at the event. This was a good number though as the monastery is a very cosy cottage. Attendees were an equal mix of primary and secondary colleagues and came from as far apart as Frome, Honiton, Williton, Taunton villages and Huish Episcopi.
Ajahn Jutindharo welcomed us on arrival; it was shoes off at the door and straight into the warm cottage kitchen. A selection of hot drinks and biscuits whilst we convened helped to relax us and we were introduced to Winkey the cat! Ajahn was so welcoming and thoroughly open to all of our questioning. He showed us down into the shrine room and we listened enthralled as he recounted his experiences of his life as a Buddhist living in the forest tradition. It was absolutely fascinating. Ajahn has such a depth of wisdom and a real aura, it felt more like a retreat than a meeting!
I would encourage more exploration of places of worship and faith communities within LTLRE meetings; it's very worthwhile and opens up opportunities for visits and links into schools for speakers. Not sure where we'll be for our spring 2019 meeting, but as soon as it's booked it will be up on the NATRE website and Twitter. Everyone will be welcome, as always.’
Hartridge Buddhist Monastery, the Black Down Hills, East Devon
Have you taken your local group to visit a place of worship? Would you recommend it to other groups? Please do share your experiences.