International Society For Krishna Consciousness
(Founder-Acarya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Temple Extension Project –
“Building A Better Spiritual Future”
Dear Devotees and Friends of Lord Krishna,
Please Accept my Humble Obeisances!
All Glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada!
Investing in your Spiritual future
I hope this letter meets you and your family in good health. I’d like to share with you all, the exciting times that are ahead for us all at ISKCON Birmingham. In 2014 we successfully received planning permission to extend our current temple facilities. The temple extension has been progressing swiftly since December 2014 and we have been quite excited about the developments thus far. Over the last few months we have seen around 60% of the proposed extension and renovation works completed.
The new extension looks to provide the following benefits for current and future congregation members:
- Doubled Temple Room Space
- High quality Temple room interior which includes bespoke flooring, arches, sculpting and paintings, which are all based on ancient Vedic designs.
- Elevated temple roof with modern sky lights
- Heated flooring in the temple room
- New kitchen with modern facilities
- New Loft Conversion (Multipurpose conference facility)
- New female rest room with en-suite
- New and increased toilet facilities including a disabled toilet
We are also undergoing a major refurbishment of the current temple which consists of:
- New reception and gift shop
- Relocation of the conservatory
- Re-plastering and decorating all the existing rooms
- High quality flooring and furniture in all the rooms
- New shoe area
- Improved security
- Improved front entrance with gates, fencing and block paving.
- New landscaped rear garden area
- New Windows and doors
- New heating system and boiler
The temple extension project aims to build a brighter and better future for everyone in our community. The new extension will create more than 100 square metres of additional space, and the total costs for the extension and renovation works have been estimated at approximately £340,000*. This cost takes into account the entire building extension, renovation work (including building materials and labour), furniture and fittings (e.g. high quality flooring), lighting, furniture and appliances etc.
*Disclaimer: All costs are approximates and may be subject to change due to various external factors.
By Lord Jagannatha’s mercy, we have started our fundraising for this project, and have thus far managed to raise approximately £220,000. These funds have really enabled us to push the project forward and get us to the stage we are at.
The following are some key accomplishments we are proud to have already achieved:
- Temple room size has doubled.
- New structure for the kitchen has been built.
- Prasadam service hatch has been built.
- Formation of the reception/shop area has been completed.
- New stairs have been installed.
- Mataji’s ashram structure and roof has been built.
- Formation of 2 male, 2 female and 1 disabled toilets
We have also had to make further safety improvements due to the old age of the building. For example, it was discovered that all the joists throughout the building were damp and weak, so as safety measure, and also to future proof the building, we have replaced all the floor joists and floor insulation. There have also been various steel beams fitted across the building to reinforce the structure further.
These new enhancements and safety improvements have however had an impact on the cost of the extension. These were necessary to do to improve the longevity of the temple building and the quality of our collective experience once the temple opens.
We are almost 65% there financially and would like to invite you to also get the mercy and blessings from Lord Krishna by contributing to the cost and helping the temple complete this project in the next few months.
Proposed images of the Temple room interior that are currently being manufactured have been provided below.
To give something to Krishna is an extremely elevated activity – whether you give some of your time to hear and chant, some of your energy, some of your money or ultimately some of your love. If we give something to Krishna we do not lose anything. In whatever way you give something to Him, He will reciprocate in manifold ways. If you can therefore give something to please the Lord, it is also for your own benefit. A devotee offers everything to Krishna – his words, his actions and his thoughts. We humbly request everyone to give generously to this wonderful temple extension project. This will surely be a real investment in your spiritual future, for you and your family.
How to donate?
We really require your support and there are multiple ways for you to kindly send us your donations:
- Online Banking
(Internet Banking/telephone banking/BACS transfers) –
Sort code 30-99-21, Lloyds Bank account number: 07027449,
Please include your name and write (TempExt-“Name Surname”) as the reference.
- Donate Online
Donate through PayPal with (TempExt-“Name Surname”) as the reference at:
- Debit / Credit Card Payment
You can make a Debit/Credit Card payment by simply filling in the donation form attached and returning it to us through our free post address below.
- Send a Cheque
If you would like to send a cheque, please make this payable to
‘ISKCON LTD -Birmingham’, and return it to us through our free post address below.
- Donate via installments
If you would like to donate via installments, kindly complete the standing order form and post it back to us and we will make the necessary arrangements.
Free post Address: ISKCON LTD, Freepost NEA 15996, Birmingham, B16 9BR
What will you get in return?
In return we would firstly like to say a big thank you on behalf of ISKCON Birmingham and pray to the Lord to bestow upon your family spiritual happiness as we all really appreciate your kind contribution.
Also as a token of our appreciation, we will be gifting everyone who pledges above £1000, a beautiful A1 picture of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subadra Devi! For those who donate under £1,000 pounds, you will also receive a wonderful gift.
“If you build a temple of Lord Krishna in this world, He will build a palace
for you in the spiritual world- Vaikuntha”
(His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada!)
Thank you for taking the time to read our pledge and we hope to hear from you all soon.
Temple Renovation Team
A little bit about us!
We are the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Birmingham. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as the Hare Krishna movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. This society has been founded in 1966 in New York City by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. This movement of mercy has spread to all continents of the world. Within 40 years it has established centres in most countries and important cities.
The objective of this educational non-profit organisation is to make Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement available to every town and village and the chanting of the holyname distributed to everyone freely.
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
ISKCON today is a worldwide confederation of more than 550 centres, including 60 farm communities, some aiming for self-sufficiency, 50 schools and 90 restaurants. In recent decades the movement’s most rapid expansions in terms of numbers of membership have been within Eastern Europe (especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union) and India.
Srila Prabhupada – At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada came to the West in 1965 from India to carry out his spiritual master’s order to spread Krishna Consciousness throughout the world. In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. He is the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, and he is also the current representative of an unbroken chain of fully self-realised spiritual masters beginning with Lord Krishna himself. He wrote more than sixty volumes of authoritative translations, commentaries and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India. His masterpiece work can be found in books such as the ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’, ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ and many more. Indeed, there is no work even comparable in its revelations of man’s essential nature, his environment, and ultimately his relationship with God.
ISKCON BIRMINGHAM – ‘ A Thriving Community’
The ISKCON Birmingham temple is a spiritual hub, a place of spiritual solace and divine sanctuary for all people regardless of cast, creed, race, gender or background to come together to learn the art of bhakti yoga (devotion to Lord Krishna).
Over the 20 years that the temple has been open, the temple community has grown and developed into a big loving spiritual family, that come together throughout the year to hold many wonderful festivals, sangas and preaching programs.
At the centre of all these activities are our residing deities, our most beloved Lord Jagannatha Baladev and Subadra Devi and Shri Shri Gaura Nitai. They are the focal point of all of our love combined and as an offering to them the temple holds many vibrant festivals, activities and programs weekly, some of which are as follows.
Grand, Colourful and Vibrant Festivals
We hold many large festivals throughout the year, which have given the mercy of Krishna and His Holy names to thousands of people. The magnificent Rathayatra is such a festival that is held annually in Birmingham city centre, attracting thousands of bystanders. Where thousands of devotees come together to pull Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subadra Devi through the streets of the city, where the Lordships give their loving glances and mercy to all that see such an extravagant festival.
The temple also hosts the world wide renowned music kirtan festival ‘Sounds for the Soul’ which has driven to accommodate thousands of devotees of Lord Krishna in the blissful chanting of the holy name for 24 hours non-stop.
In addition to this the temple also holds many more fantastic festivals around the year for the pleasure of our most beloved Lordships, such as Janamastami, Radhastami, Gita Jayanti, Balaram Jayanti, Gaura Purnima and many many more.
Sunday Love Feast
The Sunday ‘Love Feasts’ go back to the very beginning of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON period, which began in the mid-1960’s. The Founder Acarya of the Hare Krishna Movement, Srila Prabhupada started the “Sunday Love Feast” in 1966. He would personally invite guests, cook entire meal. He would serve the devotees a variety of tasty Indian-vegetarian preparations. Along
with the vegetarian feast, Srila Prabhupada would sing the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra with the guests, dance and give a lecture on Bhagavad-gita. Since then, this weekly Sunday Love Feast Festival is celebrated in all the Hare Krishna Temples around the world. It has evolved as an integrated celebration of Lord Krishna’s pastimes: chanting, hearing spiritual knowledge, dancing, eating, fellowship and generally sharing the bliss of God’s presence. Anyone can come regardless of beliefs as we welcome all into an experience of Love.
During the weekends, devotees from the temple go out to various town and cities around the west midlands to spread the Chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna known as Harinam Sankirtan, which is the dharma for this age of Kali (quarrel and hypocrisy). When Lord Krishna in His incarnation as Caitanya Mahaprabhu came just over 500 years ago, He especially emphasised the loud congregational chanting of the names of God, and especially the chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. By chanting this Maha Mantra, the whole world can get liberated. Along with the chanting, books are also distributed to interested people. These include Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and the Science of Self-realisation and many more.
Sanga Groups –Bhakti Vriksha
Bhakti Vriksha is a group of sangas that are held all around Birmingham in devotees homes. They facilitate our congregational members to come together as a family and learn how to nourish their spiritual creeper and to cultivate their Krishna consciousness, by discussing shastra within interactive groups, partake in kirtan and the chanting of the Holyname and alongside be able to develop loving relationships with the members in their group. There are many local programmes, hosted by devotees from the temple congregation throughout Birmingham, there are currently Bhakti Vrikshas held in Birmingham City Centre, Edgbaston, Erdington, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, and we hope to have many more in the coming years.
Youth Programmes-‘Pandavasena ‘
ISKCON Pandavasena is a dynamic youth group established in 1994. Pandavasena, the up and coming vibrant youth group plays a vital role in integrating and bringing the youth together. The group has over 500 members across the country with regular events taking place in Leicester, Birmingham, Crawley, East London and Harrow. For more info please visit psena.com. ISKCON Birmingham youth group are the back bone to most of the big festivals that are held within the temple, they are a real true fighting force that serve continuously to serve our most beloved Lordships Sri Krishna.
University Program- Krishna Conciousness Society
There are 29 Krishna consciousness societies within the UK itself. This is a forum in which we teach the students how we make ancient wisdom relevant for modern times. The programs allow students to ‘think out loud’ and discuss modern day concerns with a spiritual solutions. Within Birmingham we have regular programmes in Birmingham University, Coventry University and Aston University.
Children’s classes-Prahlad Club
There is a programme dedicated especially for the children called Prahlad Club. This programme gives an opportunity to the kids, to engage in Krishna Conscious activities through, drama, music, and recitation of Sanskrit verses, art and many other wonderful ways. There are currently 15 children that attend our children’s club which has been personally set up by the active mothers in our congregation.