As you know, the Amida Newcastle sangha has met here since Dharmavidya asked me to host and lead the sangha meetings, when he left Quannon House in Jesmond to move to Narborough in 2001. I was, at that time, a trainee priest on the first Amida Ministry course. Dharmavidya named the centre 'Amida Sanctuary' and, over the intervening years, many people have sat, walked, chanted, danced, created music, studied, shared deeply with our core group, here in the shrine room.
The years have seen me ordain, first as a Gankonin (at that time, called a Chaplain) in 2002 and then as a Minister, in confirmation of the work I was involved in. Later, I was given the title of Acharya (senior teacher) by Dharmavidya at the Bodhi Retreat of December 2009 2010, following a decade of discipleship. During my time here I have been Buddhist Chaplain at Newcastle University for 11 years, as I was for Northumbria University for several years.