Support establishment of Oxfordshire’s first Hindu Temple & Community Centre

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Oxfordshire is home to over 5,000 Hindus who currently have no communal place of worship or community centre. Over the last 12 years, Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project, OHTCCP, has contributed to enhancing community cohesion through mainstream partnerships for inclusive and diverse events such as the Oxford Mela and Holi celebrations, Diwali Festival of Lights, participation in the Ashmolean’s One-World Festival, Museum of Oxford’s Mixing Matters Project and the Cowley Road Carnival. The lack of fixed premises is severely restricting our ability to expand this work. We appeal to the Councils to facilitate our project in any of the following ways:

1.  Identify and sell a plot of land where OHTCCP can build a Temple and Community Centre

2. Sell or offer on long-term lease an existing building which can be converted into a Temple and Community Centre

3.  Grant change of use permission for available land or property which OHTCCP may acquire.

Any one of the above initiatives by the Councils will help the OHTCCP to:

·         Provide a place of worship for Hindus in Oxfordshire

·         Help young Hindus to develop a greater awareness of their culture, values and traditions

·         Bring Oxfordshire’s diverse communities together to share and understand each other’s festivals and cultures and arrange classes in Hindi and other Indian languages, Indian Music, Dance, Yoga, Cookery etc.

·         Provide a shared space for general community activities and events

·         Provide education about Hindu philosophy and culture so that schools do not have to travel out of the County

·         Provide an informal environment for isolated, elderly and disabled people to socialise and for statutory bodies to provide services for them in familiar settings

·         Improve health and well being through recreational health events such as health checks, exercise and regular lunch clubs.

We know the local councils of Oxfordshire have the ability to help us establish the county's first Hindu temple and community centre and we hope they will work with the OHTCCP to make this a reality.