Archive for the ‘Vauxhall’ Category

Beaufoy Birthday: 1 year of Diamond Way Buddhism in Lambeth

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 No Comments

This Thursday, 23rd January 2014, the members of the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre celebrated something very special. We ate together, meditated on the 16th Karmapa, and listened to a spontaneous lecture by Leo, a Buddhist teacher who was visiting to help with the Beaufoy renovations.

Looking over the photographs from the last year and swapping stories, we celebrated the first Beaufoy Birthday. So many things have happened that it’s hard to believe.

From visits of high lamas to tea and cakes, 2013 was a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Look back with us on our favourite events from the last year..

Diamond Way Buddhism comes to Lambeth

Of the many dates that we could have chosen for the Beaufoy Birthday – the date we first saw the amazing Beaufoy Institute, then derelict and forgotten, or the date Diamond Way Buddhism UK got the planning permission from Lambeth Council – we decided to mark the date that the Buddha moved in to the Beaufoy.

On Wednesday 23rd January 2013, a large statue of the Buddha Maitreya was carried into the Beaufoy by Lama Ole Nydahl and friends, symbolically “opening” it as a Buddhist Centre, just after we had received our own set of keys for the building.

The start of Diamond Way Buddhism in Lambeth - Lama Ole Nydahl and a statue of Buddha MaitreyaOutside view of the Beaufoy Institute in LambethThe keys to the Beaufoy Institute in Lambeth

Today, a derelict school in Lambeth starts its transformation into one of the capital’s biggest Buddhist centres as a home for Diamond Way Buddhism. The Grade II Beaufoy Institute promises to be regenerated back to its former splendour.


And although we didn’t know about it then, the profits from Diamond Way’s purchase of the Beaufoy Institute were already earmarked for a range of beneficial, very local projects that would be announced by Lambeth Council later in the year. Read more: Beaufoy Institute sale profits to be invested by Lambeth Council.

The Beaufoy Institute returns to life…

In 2013 we started the restoration work, and fully finishing the Beaufoy will take us probably a few years to come. With expert advice from friends from Diamond Way Buddhist centres abroad that have also taken on big restoration projects, we were able to make lots of progress this year.

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…and to the Lambeth community

No sooner had we done a little cleaning up of the years of grime from the Beaufoy, when we opened up for a weekend for local residents to come and take a look at the old building, and see records of the past and plans for the future. With guided tours of the building, showing its important architectural features, a video installation, and tea and cakes, there was something for everyone. Over two hundred friends and neighbours from Lambeth came to enjoy the history of the Institute and get a foretaste of the future Buddhist centre. Read more at “Beaufoy Institute Open Days: Diamond Way Buddhist centre invites Lambeth for tours and tea

Volunteers welcome Lambeth residents at the door of the BeaufoyBeaufoy tour for Lambeth Open DaysLambeth Open Days April 2014

A foretaste of the role that the Buddhist centre will play in the spiritual life of the local area was given when Faiths Together in Lambeth, a local interfaith group, stopped off at the London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre as part of their Interfaith Walk. Read more: Diamond Way hosts Interfaith visit: Faiths Together In Lambeth.

As the Open Days had been such a success, we decided to join in with the tradition of the many Christmas Markets in London and hosted our very own in the Beaufoy. As a combined Open Day and opportunity for people to come in and do their last-minute Christmas shopping from local arts and crafts suppliers, the Beaufoy Christmas market was a great success.

The first Beaufoy Institute Christmas market in LambethLambeth Beaufoy Institute 2013Santa in Lambeth - 2013 Beaufoy Institute

We had previously accumulated the confidence to organise our own market by getting experience in the well-known Kennington Fete. Diamond Way Buddhism ran a stall at the Kennington Fete in the summer. From now on we’ll be known not just for meditation, but also for the best cakes this side of Kennington Cross. Read more at “Kennington Fete: Diamond Way Buddhism raises money for local charities”.

And lest we forget, we had another, specially themed Open Day weekend! As part of the Thames Festival, Diamond Way Buddhism hosted a historic tour of local sites important to the Vauxhall Ragged Schools movement. After taking in sights such as the White Hart Docks and the Lambeth Ragged School, the tour ended with our own Beaufoy Institute, with its own rich history. Read more: Vauxhall Ragged Schools tour & Buddhist centre Open House at the Beaufoy.

Hopefully these experiences of the Beaufoy have whetted the appetite of the residents of Kennington and Vauxhall for our upcoming Public Opening in April 2014.

Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche & Lama Ole Nydahl in London

Some important Buddhist teachers came in 2013 to see how our project to bring the Beaufoy back to life was progressing. In July, our much-loved teacher Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche visited us again. Rinpoche, a high lama from Nepal, took time out from his schedule of travelling and teaching in Asia and the West to visit us. Read more at Compassion in Action: Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche visits London, July 2013.

And Lama Ole Nydahl, founder of Diamond Way Buddhism and tireless supporter of our London Buddhist Centre project, visited us twice. Lama Ole came to London in January, to symbolically “open” the centre. And he came again in April, donning gloves and helping to clear up and prepare the site.

Lama Ole Nydahl working in LondonLama Ole Nydahl in London at the Beaufoy InstituteLama Ole Nydahl teaching in London

Because of Lama Ole Nydahl’s great enthusiasm for the new London Buddhist centre, which has gained international project status, he spontaneously decided to spend two of his project days working directly with the friends involved in the project and inspiring them with his personal example and teachings.


What was your favourite memory of last year? Leave us a comment, or a birthday wish below.


Vauxhall Ragged Schools tour & Buddhist centre Open House at the Beaufoy

Posted on: September 15th, 2013 No Comments

When Diamond Way Buddhism bought the Beaufoy Institute to renovate as our Buddhist centre, we were aware that we had become custodians of a landmark with important history in the Vauxhall area. The Beaufoy itself has a fine history of helping people learn about life and developing themselves, and is part of a philanthropic movement that resonates with Buddhist values. This interest in local history is a strong part of the reason for creating the Friends of the Beaufoy group.

The Buddhist centre is at the corner of Vauxhall Street and Black Prince Road. In particular, the stretch of Black Prince Road close to the Thames is very much connected with the Ragged School movement in Vauxhall, as well as with the history of (more…)

Beaufoy Institute as Diamond Way Buddhist centre – planning the interior design

Posted on: November 4th, 2012 1 Comment

Diamond Way Buddhism UK have had our planning application to turn the Beaufoy Institute into a Buddhist centre accepted by Lambeth Council, and we’re starting to think about the details of our move to the Vauxhall/Kennington area. For the interior design features of the refurbished Beaufoy building, Diamond Way volunteers have been brainstorming ideas that fit within the parameters of the planning permission requirements. A group from the London Diamond Way Buddhist centre met in Lambeth to discuss next steps.

There is a strong precedent for the style that a Diamond Way Buddhist centre might take in refurbishing the Beaufoy – Buddhist centres in other countries provide many fine examples.

Planning application approved for the Beaufoy Institute!

Posted on: October 14th, 2012 1 Comment

We are delighted to announce that our planning application to transform the Beaufoy Institute has been approved. The application from Diamond Way Buddhism went to the Lambeth Planning Application Committee on 3rd July 2012, and was approved by the vote of 6 Lambeth councillors, with 5 in favour and one abstention, and the planning permission has now been granted.

We are very thankful for the overwhelming support of the local people of the Kennington, Oval, and Vauxhall (KOV) area, and the ward councillors during the planning consultation process – and now the project to bring the Beaufoy Institute back to life can go ahead! More details can be found on our Diamond Way Buddhism UK blog.

Members of Diamond Way Buddhism celebrate outside the Town Hall where Lambeth Council granted planning permission for the Beaufoy Institute

Members of Diamond Way and friends joyful at the granting of planning permission by Lambeth Council

What next for the Beaufoy Institute?

It is expected that work to transform the Beaufoy Institute will start in early 2013. We hope the Beaufoy will be open, at least in part, for use within a year.
The project itself has now moved into detailed planning and further fundraising phases – so there is lots going on behind the scenes! The architectural plans in particular need to be converted into detailed plans for the renovation and there is a huge effort underway now to secure the benefits of the project for all.

The local community will be interested in how and when they can visit the Beaufoy Institute, as well as any disruption that might be caused by the building works. We very much have this in mind and so will post more updates as soon as we know more.

We are all very excited and looking forward to the move to Lambeth – watch this space for more information!

Community Volunteering Recruitment event with the Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall (KOV) Forum

Posted on: March 17th, 2012

A very pleasant afternoon on Saturday 17th March was spent at St Anselm’s church with a host of other community groups of the Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall (KOV) Forum searching for extra helping hands for their projects. The Diamond Way Group set up shop with some details about the Karma Kagyu lineage and details of the Beaufoy renovation project, along side other local groups ranging from the Lambeth Autistim group, to the Vauxhall Society, to the local Girl Guides.

Once again, the local people we gathered feedback from were eager to see their beloved Beaufoy building being brought back to life and we reassured them that we too wish to see it restored to its former glory as quickly as possible. It’s wonderful to get more and more information about the building from people who have lived in Lambeth for many years – one man’s father had actually attended the old ragged school at the Beaufoy Institute. And one woman has lived locally for 40 years and has seen the Beaufoy go from thriving school, to empty shell. Let’s hope she’ll join us to celebrate the reopening of the building in the not-too-distant future.

What strikes us ever more about the Lambeth community is how welcoming everyone is, how active the locals are with community activities. Now more than ever, we’re looking forward to becoming a part of it.

Interested in Volunteering to Renovate the Beaufoy?

Posted on: March 9th, 2012

Coming Up:

Interested in becoming a volunteer to help in the restoration of the Beaufoy? Join us on 17th March to learn more about how you can get involved with the project:

KOV Forum Volunteer Matching Event

17th March 3-5pm
St Anselm’s
Kennington Cross
286 Kennington Rd
SE11 5DU

Planning Consultation at the Tea House Theatre, Vauxhall Walk

Posted on: February 2nd, 2012

Representatives of Diamond Way Buddhism gathered at the splendid Tea House theatre by Vauxhall Spring Gardens to offer the local community the opportunity to look at plans for the renovation of the Beaufoy Institute building. The informal consultation was part of the multi-stage planning consultation and planning application process, which could last several months, and followed on from the recent discussion about planning at the KOV Forum.

Various visitors shared local stories about the history of the Beaufoy building and how different groups would like to be involved in the new Buddhist centre following various previous projects.

Comments about the planning application were positive and the general feeling was that it is a good thing that the Beaufoy building – which has been vacant for some 15 years – will finally be brought back to life.

Some of the ideas discussed with the local visitors included the opportunity for tours of the Beaufoy Institute before and after the renovation; the potential for volunteering or apprenticeship opportunities for local youths; possible connections with local schools and the prospect of an annual community fundraiser where the whole community are invited into the Beaufoy for a concert. These ideas are all being looked into and announcements will be made further down the line.

You can read more articles about the planning application process.

Diamond Way Buddhism planning consultation at the KOV Forum

Posted on: January 25th, 2012

Representatives of Diamond Way Buddhism joined the Kennington, Oval, and Vauxhall (KOV) Forum on Wed 25th January 2012 to announce the intended purchase of the Beaufoy Institute building and annex.
The plans to convert the Beaufoy Institute into a Buddhist Centre for London will, once submitted to Lambeth Council, undergo a formal three-month planning consultation. Before that consultation began, the KOV forum was a perfect opportunity to consult informally with the local community about the planning application.

The community was broadly welcoming towards the application to use the Beaufoy building as a new Buddhist centre. The Diamond Way Buddhism representatives enjoyed the opportunity to connect with community representatives from the local area and hear about their activities. The Diamond Way group were particularly impressed with the amount of community activity in Princes Ward and Lambeth as a whole and look forward to building strong ties with local individuals and community groups.

Bellway Homes also presented their related planning application to purchase the adjoining plot of land behind the Beaufoy building.

Diamond Way Buddhism planning consultation at the Kennington, Oval, Vauxhall (KOV) Forum