Hellesdon home transformed into Thai Temple

The Thai Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Thai Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Crowds gathered to celebrate the opening of Norwich's first Thai Buddhist temple om Saturday.

Thai Monks take part in a service at the new Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. From left, deputy

Thai Monks take part in a service at the new Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. From left, deputy chief monk, Phrasakaya Puttiyawong; the monk from the Leeds Temple, Watana; the monk from the Cambridge Temple, Suraphol; and the monk who will live at this temple at Hellesdon, Phrapalad Jiranath. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

More than 50 people visited the Wat Arun Norfolk UK temple, hidden within a suburban family home in Hellesdon.

The place of worship, based in Orchard Drive, was also hosting a famous monk from within the Thai community.

The deputy chief monk, Phrasakayaputtiyawong - who is also the monk for the King of Thailand - travelled to Norfolk to open the temple.

He prayed with around 60 people of all ages.

Thai Monks take part in a service at the new Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. From left, the mo

Thai Monks take part in a service at the new Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. From left, the monk from the Leeds Temple, Watana; the monk from the Cambridge Temple, Suraphol; and the monk who will live at this temple at Hellesdon, Phrapalad Jiranath. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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Gary Howard, who is the vice chairman of the Wat Arun Norfolk UK charity which funds the temple, said: 'There are more people than we expected and it is great to see so many people here - you can see that it was needed by how many people have come.

'In the future we will hold events and celebrate the big holidays, we - as a charity - will also look to build our own temple or buy a premise.'

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Some neighbours joined in the celebration and met with the Thai community.

Within the temple there is a portrait of Thailand's chief monk, photographs, golden statues and floral displays.

Prayers at the Thai Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Prayers at the Thai Temple which has opened at Hellesdon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Aomjai Clark, one of the organisers, said: '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.'

Monks from the other places of worship joined in with the opening celebration.

The Wat Arun Norfolk UK temple will be open every day.

Cars parked on Low Road on the pavements as the new Thai Temple opened in Orchard Drive at Hellesdon

Cars parked on Low Road on the pavements as the new Thai Temple opened in Orchard Drive at Hellesdon. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

It will open at 9am and will be open through until the evening.

Mr Howard added: 'The good thing is that it is a place for people to come and pray, chant, speak to the monk and if someone is in need they can find support and somewhere to stay.'

Do you have a story about a new venue in the city? Email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk

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