The Buddhist Society was founded in 1924, with the object “to publish and make known the principles of Buddhism and to encourage the study and practice of those principles.” It is guided by an elected Council.

The Society provides:

  • a range of classes and courses in the Buddha’s teachings, as well as instruction in Buddhist meditation and daily life practice.
  • a Correspondence Course in basic Buddhism, with tutors recruited from members who have studied and practiced Buddhism for many years.
  • a library of over four thousand books,
  • a full programme of events including an annual residential Summer School, special functions and celebration days, plus regular public lectures on the history, art and culture of Buddhist countries. There are three special celebratory days in the Society’s calendar, its Anniversary Day (November), Founder’s Day (April) and Buddha Day (May) when members of the public are invited to participate in the celebrations.
  • A venue for talks from visiting Buddhist teachers and occasional day retreats.
  • an environment for Buddhist practice and study. It increasingly makes use of online services to fulfil its declared Objects and generally to help, advise and facilitate wherever possible.

Contributions to RE

Changes to the law affecting the content of Religious education in state schools has led to the Society become increasingly involved in helping both teachers and pupils alike get a better understanding and appreciation of the Buddha’s teachings. Also in the field of education, the Society is represented on several Standing Advisory Councils for Religious education (SACRE). In response to the need for authentic information on Buddhism, it has begun to publish educational material for use by schools and colleges.

The Society publishes from time to time a Buddhist Directory covering the UK and Ireland. Because of the Society’s standing and special knowledge in this area it is frequently called upon to give help and advice to the BBC and other major news organizations. It also gives advice to authors and publishers, as well as to visitors and callers who seek help or information.