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NSA of the UK: Goal of acquiring temple land near London

[plain text version]
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom
23 January 2019
5 Sultan 175 B.E.

To all believers in the United Kingdom

Dearly loved Friends,
‘Abdu’l-Baha declared that the House of Worship is “the first visible and manifest establishment of the Lord,”[1] being so momentous a structure that even the act of “laying but one brick for [it] or one of its dependencies is like unto building a lofty edifice.”[2] And He assured us that, in time, “a hundred thousand Mariqu’l-Adhkrs shall be reared in glory, dignity, and utmost majesty.”[3]

More than six decades ago, in response to a request from the beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, the Baha’is of the British Isles were able to purchase a small piece of land on the banks of the River Thames at Sonning, Berkshire. That site – which remains in the National Spiritual Assembly’s possession today – was acquired as a token to designate that, at some point in the future, a national House of Worship will be constructed somewhere in, or close to, London.

The National Spiritual Assembly is pleased to announce that it is now timely to acquire a site upon which the significant edifice of a Mashriqu’l-Adhkar can be raised up in the United Kingdom at some future date. As indicated by the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice, this land will ideally be approximately two hectares in size, as close to the centre of London as possible but not further than 15 miles or so from Greater London, and with the potential to be built upon. Alternatively, a larger piece of land could be acquired with one portion of it serving as a site for a residential training centre, another important project about which the community has already been informed.

The National Assembly has set the goal of acquiring the Temple land by the end of the Five Year Plan at Ridvan 2021. Based on current prices, it is likely that up to £2 million will need to be raised for a suitable site. The National Assembly is pleased to report, however, that a National Temple Fund, established many years ago, holds an earmarked amount of £656,000 which will go towards this purchase.

The UK Baha’i community is engaged in a mighty spiritual enterprise that gives expression to the “twin directing principles of the worship of God and the service of one’s fellow-men,”[4] principles that are fundamental to the oneness of humanity. The National Assembly is confident that the Friends will not hesitate to offer their wholehearted support, their prayers and a generous and sacrificial outpouring of their material resources for the acquisition of this land, which represents a further step towards the eventual founding, in our midst, of an institution dedicated to the praise and glorification of God and the full expression of those twin directing principles.

With loving Baha’i greetings,
Patrick O’Mara,
Secretary

cc: Counsellor Shirin Fozdar-Foroudi
All Auxiliary Board members
All Local Spiritual Assemblies and Groups

[sources:
1 The Institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar compilation, extract 66
2 ibid. extract 28
3 ibid. extract 29
4 ibid., extract 41
Header: 27 Rutland Gate, London SW7 IPD Tel: +44-20-7584-2566 E-mail: nsa@bahai.org.uk When replying please refer to: SRL-24930 ]

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