First Thai Buddhist temple in Norwich to open
- Credit: Archant
It looks like an average suburban family home.
But behind the doors of a property at Orchard Drive in Hellesdon is a surprise – the first Thai Buddhist temple in the Norwich area.
And on Sunday it will host one of Thailand's most important people when the deputy chief monk comes to officially open the Wat Arun Norfolk UK temple.
The deputy chief monk will be staying at the temple for 10 days – much to the excitement of the Thai community.
Aomjai Clark, one of the organisers, said: 'He is very famous in Thailand and is on the news every day talking about religion and other things – so it is very important that he is coming.
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'We have a Thai Buddhist temple in London, Birmingham and Cambridge but people said they wanted one in Norwich, so we decided to rent a house for people to come to.
'They can come and pray and see the monk and feel better. It is similar to church like that.'
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On Sunday, from 9am until 3pm, there will be free food and a celebration to welcome guests and mark the opening of the place of worship.
Inside, there is a portrait of Thailand's chief monk, golden statues and floral displays.
A handful of monks is scheduled to visit in the coming weeks, with each staying at the temple for a short period.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event.
However, women are not allowed in the temple after 3pm.
The deputy monk will spend hours chanting, praying and will only eat two meals a day – fasting in the evenings.
Aomjai Clark added: 'In Bangkok he would get up at
5am to pray, then he would walk with no shoes on in the street holding a bowl to be given
food, then he would return
to the temple to pray.'
The Wat Arun Norfolk UK temple will be open every day.
In the future, organisers at the temple hope to host big Thai events, have parades in the city centre and take part in the Lord Mayor's Procession.
'We would have Thai outfits and dancing and show everyone what we do.
'We also hope one time we can buy our own premises, but until then we will rent here for people to come to.'
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