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Page added on December 16, 2011

From A Miracle to a Dream Come True

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ISKCON acquires historic bank building in the centre of the City

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (the Hare Krishna Movement) has finally acquired the HSBC bank building on Granby Street, a Grade II* listed building built in 1875 by the famous architect Goddard. Recently this stunning building was identified by English Heritage as at ‘risk’ of ruination.

The Hare Krishna devotees lost their original place of worship last September, when the temple suffered a gas explosion. All of the 50 devotees within the building managed to escape the multiple blasts, uninjured. This was referred to as a ‘miracle’ by firefighters.

After 15 months of worship and community gatherings in rented spaces, acquiring the keys to the HSBC Bank is a dream come true.

The Society plans to restore the building to its former glory and bring it back into use as a place of worship with a range of community activities, eventually providing a restaurant, yoga and meditation studio, and self-development workshops.

Pradyumna das, President of ISKCON said, “We are very excited with this news. This is a great opportunity for us to bring back into use a fantastic building right at the heart of the city. As well as a focus on spirituality and self-realisation, we want to invite the people of our county to come and learn about the heritage of the place and celebrate its wonderful architecture.”

The purchase of the Bank has been the donation of a family based in London and Leicester. They have commented that: “This is a once in lifetime opportunity to be able to offer not only a place of worship but also a place of spiritual learning for all the people of Leicester.”

Members of the ISKCON community congregated at the Bank last night to celebrate the news. But there will be a lot of work to be done before the community officially begins to use the building. Plans for the development of the site are in early stages and will unfold over the coming months.

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