BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) celebrated their 30th anniversary of its founding in September 1991.

The Theravada School of Buddhism, which is the the oldest school of Buddhism, is practised in the five Theravada Buddhist countries of South and South East Asia.

Venerable Dr Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Aggamaha Pandita Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru DLitt DLitt (1896-1998), and Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera agreed to become BGKT’s Founder Spiritual Advisors.

"We celebrated Venerable Ananda Maitreya’s 125th birth anniversary in August 2021.

"Introducing Buddhism by Venerable Dr Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru Aggamaha Pandita DLitt DLitt (1896 -1998) and BGKT Secretary Jacquetta Gomes has been published in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, UK, and USA.

"We are privileged that many other senior Monks have visited BGKT in Kendal. Venerable Medagama Vajiragnana Mahanayaka Thera OBE (the most senior Sri Lankan Monk in the UK) visited in 2000 with Venerable Piyatissa.

"A young cave dwelling Monk from Sri Lanka became well known in Kendal."

"BGKT is very grateful for the opportunities our first 30 years have offered us, and for all the valuable support and encouragement we have received.

"We would be delighted to meet new people who are interested in Buddhism and our work. We hold a monthly public open meeting on the 3rd Sunday of the month (except December) at Castle Street Centre Kendal."

Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa Maha Thera added: "I am very pleased to know that Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) BGKT is celebrating the 30th anniversary, and very much appreciate the way it is providing facilities and opportunities for people living in Cumbria to learn and practice Buddhism.

"BGKT has a very close relationship with Ketumati Buddhist Vihara in Manchester and I am very pleased to mention, that I have been teaching Buddhism and conducting meditation sessions for the group for well over 20 years."

Kendal Mayor Douglas Rathbone, who has visited the centre on numerous occasions, said: “It is pleasing that this is the 30th anniversary of the Buddhist Group of Kendal and that they have contributed to the life of the town for so long.

"Their long-standing presence in town, their use of facilities at Castle Street and the Unitarian church, and strong links with the inter faith movement have strengthened us as a community.

"They have shown the openness of Kendal, meeting for meditation and mindfulness on Sunday afternoons as well as working for greater awareness of diversity, without most people being aware.

"BGKT, working with other faith groups have added their weight to various local equality, diversity, as well as anti racism groups.

"At a time when we all are all wanting to, working to, bring ‘Kendal Together’ as we come out of COVID, their spirituality and mindfulness is all the more of a benefit to our town and to south Lakeland.

"It has been a pleasure to be invited to their Theravada Vesak celebrations and inter faith meetings and to see the way they add to the rich mix of communities in Kendal - long may it continue.”