Colourful Buddhist banners and flags hang round the former Welfare Clinic in Maybury Road, Plaistow, E13.
This is the East London Buddhist Cultural Centre which opened in 2002 after moving from premises in Ruskin Avenue, Manor Park. Inside, halls and rooms are quietly being adapted and painted.
1,592 Newham citizens registered themselves as Buddhists in the 2001 Census. They now have two temples. The other is the Buddhist Vihara Temple in Dacre Road E13 which was founded by the Ambedkar International Mission around 1994. The Buddha Day ceremony held in Newham Town Hall in 2006 gathered Sri Lankans, Myanmars, Thais and Indians.
Buddhism dates back 2500 years, originated in Nepal and there are over 300 million Buddhists in the world.
Welcomed by the robed priest, we were led through gleaming tiled corridors into a brightly lit hall where a group of young men were preparing for New Year celebrations. A pink blossomed verbena bush stood outside the back door.
Reached from Prince Regents Lane the Temple is ringed by Cumberland School, Newham Hospital, Tollgate School and the Leisure Centre - and within ear-shot of the Fire Station! It is open daily from 9.00-9.00 with services, meditation and language classes.