The Dhammakaya Movement is one distinct tradition of Theravada Buddhism that has had a pioneering role in establishing Buddhist practice in England since 1954.
The first English Temple was established in Wimbledon, London, April 1999 and a second Temple was set up in Norbury, London, in July 2002
The tradition registered as a non-profit organization under the Dhammakaya International Society of the United Kingdom or DISUK on 16 April 2002 and was granted charitable status on 26 May 2004.
Wishing to secure a more beneficial property to serve the growing interest in 2004 the Brookwood Hospital Chapel at Knaphill was purchased – a building which had been derelict for six years. The run down Chapel was converted and refurbished into a functioning Buddhist centre in 2005 and officially opened by Woking’s Mayor Cllr. Bryan Cross on 28 October 2007. It officially became registered as Wat Phra Dhammakaya London.
|The derelict temple.||The temple as it is now.|
To date the popular Dhammakaya Tradition has seen Temples established in Newcastle, Manchester and Helensburgh in Scotland and a network of local support groups now exists in Doncaster, Sheffield, Scotland and Cyprus for the Manchester Temple. Brighton, Worthing, Cheltenham, Kent, Swindon and Ireland being served by the London Temple. Monks are sent regularly to support English language meditation activities in Europe including Zurich, Geneva and Ireland.
The Temple has been involved with policy-making concerning Buddhism in the UK with participation in TBSUK, NBO, Greenwich Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, chaplaincy and the SE Buddhist Forum. In 2006 the London Temple was the first Temple to introduce in Europe the Sanam Luang Dhamma studies – a three tier system used throughout Thailand for training in theoretical knowledge about Buddhism.