Hindus hopeful prayers will be answered soon

02om14gopal.jpg-pwrt2OXFORD could soon have its first Hindu temple if fundraisers reach their £500,000 target this year.

Leaders of the Oxford Temple and Community Centre Project are in desperate need of a permanent base for the county’s 5,000 Hindus.

They have raised £110,000 in the five years since launching their campaign to build a temple and community centre in the city, but need about £2m for the project.

In the meantime temple leaders are hoping to get to £500,000 for a mortgage on a property in the city that can be used until the full amount is secured, although no site has been identified yet. 

They are re-appealing to community and faith groups to help them in their quest to find a home for members of the 300-strong Hindu group.

Chairman Gyan Gopal said: “Hinduism is not represented in Oxfordshire because we don’t have a place of our own.

“We have synagogues, we have mosques, we have churches but we have not got a Hindu temple.

“We have a very diverse community in Oxfordshire and we want to project the Hindu culture. We really want to show the other communities in Oxford what the Hindu culture is.”

The project began after members realised there was nowhere in the city for them to hold community events and communal prayer.

It is hoped the proposed community centre would be used for activities including lunch clubs, dance classes, games sessions and language classes.

Mr Gopal said: “£2m would be a dream but a place that could hold up to 100 people would cost about £500,000.”

“We are getting quite a fairly large amount of Asian people in Oxford. They would love to have a centre where they could meet.”


Faith groups across the city unite with the Hindu fundraisers at their annual summer melas, Diwali dinner dances and spring Holi festival celebrations.

At the latest Diwali fundraiser, Mr Gopal said more than half of the 270 visitors were non-Hindus.

He added: “We would like to involve all the other communities which is what we do in our cultural events. That’s where the community centre part comes in.

“A family that eats together stays together. If we don’t meet together in these social functions, we won’t stay together.”

Volunteer Kanta Gopal said plans for the group’s sixth summer Mela are already in full swing.

It is set to be held on Saturday, June 13, at East Oxford-based mental health charity Restore.

Mrs Gopal added: “We want to get the diverse communities of Oxford together. As an organisation we want to be acknowledged.

“Every other faith group in Oxford is acknowledged and has its place. For our grandchildren, for the younger generation, they are growing up now and there is nothing.”

For more information visit oxfordhindutemple.org

Source: oxfordmail.co.uk