Oxford

Renewed call for first Hindu temple in Oxford

Statues of Hindu gods in Highgate Hill Murugan Hindu Temple, London Image copyright Alys Tomlinson
Image caption Hinduism has over 900m worshippers worldwide

Campaigners for a first Hindu temple in Oxfordshire have made a fresh appeal for funds.

The Oxford Temple and Community Centre Project wants a place of worship for the 10,000 Hindus in the county.

Volunteers are now appealing to Hindu families to provide regular donations in order to be accepted for a mortgage.

Chairman Gyan Gopal said: "Of all the major faiths of the world, Hinduism is the only one not to have a place for communal worship in Oxfordshire."

Industrial estate

The project has raised £110,000 in six years and aims to raise £500,000, but volunteers are now exploring the option of using their raised funds towards a mortgage on a property.

Currently 15 families are contributing every month but the project needs more families to make regular payments rather than one-off donations.

Mr Gopal said: "To acquire a mortgage we need to show the financial institutions that we have a regular income coming in in standing orders to meet the interest payments."

Applications for funding from Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have been unsuccessful.

The project organises the annual Oxford Mela which raised £4,500 last year.

Mr Gopal said the ideal location would be an industrial estate.

"Our events usually happen in the evenings and on weekends so we don't want to disturb anyone," he said.

Another option is to buy land and start with a "prefab hut".

Mr Gopal said: "The biggest cathedrals started off like that".

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