Running Costs

 

 Cittaviveka Finances

 Looking back-looking forward

 April 2015

 


Dear friends of Cittaviveka

 

The financial New Year seems a good time to look at how the monastery’s finances are doing. Like all Buddhist monasteries, we are entirely dependent on freewill offerings from our lay supporters. Traditionally such support is offered on the ‘alms round’ (pindabaht) principle: that is everyone who appreciates the monastery, regularly offers a small amount, in accordance with their means. Our hope and aim is that month on month, we will receive enough to cover our running costs.

 

For the last two financial years (2013/14 and 2014/15), I am delighted to say that your generosity has been enough to meet all our day-to-day costs, without any outside help from Amaravati and the English Sangha Trust. So our first financial New Year message is “Thank you so much for your generosity.”

 

We are deeply grateful for all donations. To keep our admin costs down we only acknowledge gifts of £30 or more, but if you would like confirmation that we have received a particular donation, please contact the treasurers below.

 

The second message is “Please continue your generous support!” While we receive many gifts in kind, particularly the daily meal offering, we still need to raise more than £300 every day just to pay the bills. And while we are very grateful for all donations, the more our income comes from regular pledges, the easier it is to plan ahead. So if you would like to offer regular support,please consider making a standing order to support the monastery.

 

Are you signed up to Gift Aid?

 

If you are a UK taxpayer, the monastery can claim an extra £2.50 for every £10 that you give us. . For each of the last two years we were able to reclaim £13,000 from the Government in this way. This was a huge help and we would like to be able to do even better this year- with your help. Each taxpayer needs to fill out their own Gift Aid declaration and return it to us. This allows us to reclaim tax on all your future donations – you only have to make sure we know they come from you. Forms for standing orders and for Gift Aid can be found at the monastery, on our website (www.cittaviveka.org) or from the treasurers whose contact details are below.

 

Next year’s budget

 

2015/16 may not be an easy year. Some of our costs have increased and we are now expected to pay our fair share of the English Sangha Trust’s admin costs. The budget we have set will again enable us to keep the monastery running and in good repair. We have also received various “one-off” donations over the last two years, from teaching programmes and the 2013 Kathina, which it has been possible to put aside for planned future projects for the welfare of the Sangha. The priority for its use this year will be to create a nursing facility for sick and aging monastics.

 

We have set a budget for 2015/16, for all our non-capital costs, of £146,660. We hope that the income from Gift Aid and our green energy projects together with the grant for our forest conservation, will exceed £25,000, leaving us to raise £121,660 from you. This is how the money will be spent.

 


 



 

If you are unsure if your donations qualify for Gift Aid, or if you have any other questions, please ask the lay treasurers: Graham Winyard and Jill Saltmarsh who can be contacted at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery Chithurst, Petersfield GU31 5EU, or on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 



 

Thank You For Your Continuing Support

 



 

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

 

Online Donation

The Trustees of The English Sangha Trust offer the following online facilities as a convenient way of making online donations to the monasteries (please click on one of the following links):

Donate to Chithurst Buddhist Monastery (Cittaviveka)

Donate to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Donate to Amaravati Retreat Centre

Donate to the Amaravati Publications Fund

Online donations using a debit/credit card can be paid in UK Sterling, Euros, or US Dollars. Please note that The English Sangha Trust will incur a transaction charge of 3.6% for online donations, including those from overseas supporters.

You are invited to suggest whether Cittaviveka (Chithurst), Amaravati, or the ABM Retreat Centre should benefit from your online donation. Your choice informs, but does not require, the English Sangha Trust to allocate your gift to the chosen place as the final decision is influenced by advice from the Sangha to the Trust as to what is needed.

If you wish your donation to be used only for a specific purpose please email the Trust Secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note that if the amounts donated for a specified project are ultimately more than necessary any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha. 

Other ways of donating.

Offering Requisites

Each monk or nun is instructed at their Going Forth to live dependent on ‘Four Requisites:’ alms-food, clothing, shelter and medicines. All of these are to be provided through mendicancy – accepting what is freely offered by the laity. Within the spectrum of these basic requisites, the community may need various kinds of ochre or brown cloth from which we can make robes, or offer ready-mades such a socks or sweaters in these colours. The monastery itself may need paint, washing-up liquid, tools, furnishings – many of the things that any household needs. However, as a monastery there are also many things we don’t need – TVs, luxurious and brightly coloured furnishings or clothes. So it’s always good to consult the monastery – by phone or letter – to check what is needed or to have a look at our Dana List. Sometimes we have more rice, washing-up liquid, or tea than we can use. And as we have our own well, we never need bottled water...

 

Offering Skills or Advice

The monastery may have twenty to thirty residents at any given time, who may or may not have skills in terms of painting, decorating, gardening, carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, forestry, vehicle repair….some of the many daily-life tasks that keep the place going.  Any help offered in these areas is greatly appreciated.  If you have an artisan skill that you’d like to offer from time to time please write to the Maintenance Committee c/o the monastery.  We can also can use occasional legal and medical advice. And anyone who can offer a willing hand in the kitchen or the garden will find their presence is welcome.

We set aside certain days for work in the Gardens, or in the Hammer Wood.  Such work is generally on a weekend afternoon, and entails weeding, pruning, maintenance of paths and clearing of heath land.  You will see these Days mentioned in the ‘News’ section.

In the autumn of most years we have a Forest Work Month (between three and four weeks) which is an opportunity for three or four men to work along with Sangha members in the forest.  It requires no great skills or strength, but adherence to the Eight Precepts, some familiarity with the monastic life, and an ongoing meditation practice are essential.  Write to the Forest Committee c/o the monastery for details.

Offering Money

One of the most convenient ways to offer support is through financial donations. The Sangha itself requires relatively little - for example, we have a policy of not asking for food to be purchased, preferring to live on whatever food is offered in kind. However, it does cost about £10,000 each month to keep the monastery buildings running, for paying bills for electricity, maintenance, transport, etc., so we do need regular donations.  

The use of these donations is overseen by committees of laymen and women, in consultation with a group of senior monks and nuns.  The needs of the various buildings and members of the community are decided through due consultation and consensus. Cittaviveka is administered as one unit and does not have separate accounts for monks or nuns.


In accordance with the original monastic code of the Buddha - the ‘Vinaya,’  our monks and nuns are prohibited from handling or holding personal rights over money. Consequently, the finances of the Monastery are ‘stewarded’ by a charitable body, The English Sangha Trust Ltd, and are administered by the charity’s Finance Sub Committee, which reports to the Board of Trustees. Trustees and Committee Members are friends and supporters of the Monastery, who serve in this capacity as an expression of their commitment to Dhamma. All of the funds are administered by the Trust and the Committee who manage the funds in accordance with the wishes of the donors.

The latest audited financial statements of The English Sangha Trust Ltd can be accessed on the UK Charity Commission website by using the following link: Charity Commission


Forms of donation

Standing Orders: It is very helpful to the monastery to know that there is some degree of regular financial support. Standing orders are one way of ensuring this. If you are in a position to make such an offering then you can do so by completing a standing instruction to your bank (monthly, quarterly or annually). In certain circumstances it is possible for the Trust to obtain tax relief on such donations. Please see below to access a copy of the standing order form.

Give as You Earn: Some larger employers subscribe to this scheme, that enables employees to instruct that a monthly deduction from their salary is paid to the charity of their choice. At present the charity receives tax relief on the donation.

One-Off Donations: Such donations can be made in the form of cash or cheques made payable to The English Sangha Trust Ltd and placed in the donation envelopes provided at the monastery. Again, under certain circumstances, the monastery can claim tax relief.

Online Donations Click here for further information.


Bank Account Details

To make domestic or international transfers please contact the Lay Treasurer Dr. Graham Winyard (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for details of the monastery's bank account. We recommend that you check with your bank what charges will be made for a funds transfer. Please note that if your donation is for a specified purpose and the amount donated is more than necessary for the particular purpose, any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha.


Standing Order Forms

If you wish to make a donation to the monastery by a standing order with your bank, please click here for the standing order form and, after printing it out and filling it in, post it to:

The Lay Treasurer,
Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, Chithurst, Petersfield, HANTS GU31 5EU.


Donations By Post

If you live in the UK there is the option of posting a cheque. Cheques should be made payable to :

The English Sangha Trust Ltd

and sent to:

Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, Chithurst, Petersfield, HANTS GU31 5EU.

If you wish your donation to be used for a particular purpose please inform us of this when sending the donation. Please note that if the amount is more than necessary for the particular purpose any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha.

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