Update from the English Sangha Trust (EST)

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Amaravati and Cittaviveka Financial Status

Update No 1. June 2020

The Trustees of The English Sangha Trust are responsible for managing the finances and all donations offered to Amaravati and Cittaviveka.

The precautionary measures taken by the resident sangha to protect the monasteries’ residents, in particular more vulnerable members of the communities, mean that they will likely remain closed to all guests and visitors for most of 2020. Supporters who would normally come, particularly in the summer for talks and to stay or go on retreat, will not be able to visit or make donations of food or money whilst visiting.

Many kind supporters already offer donations via Standing Orders from their banks, and some have given them specifically because they recognise COVID-19 will present challenges to the normal life of the monasteries. We know some supporters are furloughed or without their usual source of income, so this is particularly appreciated.

The pattern of spending is also changing, because there is less travel, but we have started to purchase food. Until the lockdown all food was brought to the monasteries by supporters and some are now doing that again and leaving it at the gate. We do have plenty of food now.

At the time of writing the Trust predicts it will have enough funds available to continue to provide the sangha and long-term lay residents with the requisites and to keep up the buildings and grounds for some time. The Trust has Reserves it can use, and has not touched them yet.

Because COVID-19 is expected to be with us for the foreseeable future and it is not known if there will be a significant economic recession, the trustees have decided to allow the building activities of the Amaravati Long Term Plan to cease when they come to a natural break. For the most part this will be the autumn/winter of 2020-21. Where donations are given specifically for building projects such donations are deemed ‘Restricted’ and cannot be used for running costs, and those building projects could continue.

The Trust has also set up a Financial Sustainability Network of the appropriate senior sangha, trustees and accountants to ensure that all financial issues are thoroughly understood and we can act speedily if necessary.

By October we expect to have a better picture of how the financial landscape of the Trust looks. We recognise that Kathina is a significant time for celebration, generosity and recalling the Dhamma together in community. The sangha is considering how that can be replaced for this year, perhaps with an online puja or live video and details of this will be on the websites of Amaravati and Cittaviveka.

The trustees will provide another update on finances in October.

May all beings be well.

More information on the EST is available here https://www.amaravati.org/support/est/

You are welcome to contact the EST by using the form below.

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