ONE of the region's only Thai Buddhist temples is inviting members of the public of all faiths to visit its stunning grounds.

The Wat Sriratanaram Monastery, on Manor Lane, Kearsley is located on part of the former site of the town's golf club and has just recently applied for permission to expand its grounds.

A recent visitor has been Cllr Paul Heslop, of One Kearsley.

Cllr Heslop said: "Although my visit was on a wet and windy February morning, it was not difficult to imagine what a beautiful place of worship it would be during a summer’s day.

"The start of the walk in the grounds goes through a flower and ornamental light tunnel that leads to an open mediation area which has many newly-planted cherry blossom trees."

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Cllr Heslop says he was struck by the beautiful grounds at the temple

He added: "A low-level raised wooden platform is able to accommodate up to 100 followers to offer prayers to Buddha who sits in various poses along the sides of the dais along with the traditional gold statue of Buddha at the front.

"The offerings that I brought, Buddhist prayer flags, were gratefully received and will soon be fluttering in the wind around the monastery."

The new plans for the temple will see spaces for recreation, meditation, the planting of gardens and agricultural grazing.

Cllr Heslop says he is excited about what the future will hold for the temple and what this means for Kearsley, with meditation sessions already open for the public.

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The temple hopes to attract visitors of all faiths

They take place for 6pm and last for an hour, often attracting up to 100 people according to Cllr Heslop's guide Wendy.

He said: "Wendy was keen to emphasise that this was open to everyone and that people did not need to be a practising Buddhist to attend the sessions, they just need to turn up and assured of a warm welcome by the Abbot, monks, congregation and other non-Buddhist attendees."

The councillor will next be visiting for the Songkran festival around April 13, which represents Buddhist New Year and the monks hope to see more visitors experience the temple first hand in the mean time.