More than 100 Buddhist monks with over 1,000 followers and their guests thronged to a special meeting.

They had gathered for the annual meeting of the Council of UK and Ireland Buddhist Monks at the Wat Sri Ratanaram temple on Moss Lane in Kearsley.

The temple is one of its kind in the region and guests from miles around gathered to see the monks and followers parade to the temple.

Cllr Paul Heslop, of One Kearsley, said: “There were also many locals and friends of the temple who also attended the meeting and joined in the festivities.

“Despite predictions of rain, it was a glorious sunny afternoon that saw attendees dance and sing around the stage that contains Lord Buddha in all the various poses.”

In all around 130 monks and 1,200 followers had come to the temple for the festivities.

Asian Image: Cllr Mohammed Ayub and Yasmin Qureshi MP were amongstCllr Mohammed Ayub and Yasmin Qureshi MP were amongst (Image: Public)

They were joined by guests including Cllr Heslop and his colleagues Cllr Debbie Newall and Cllr Melanie Livesey as well as Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi and Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton Cllr Mohammed Ayub and Zaibun Nisa.

All of them had their parts to play at the temple.

Asian Image: The celebratory event was held over the weekendThe celebratory event was held over the weekend (Image: Public)

Cllr Heslop said: “The Chief Abbot of the temple, Abbot PK Paganon Buddimeth, escorted Mayor Mohammed Ayub along with Mayoress Zaibun Nisa, and Yasmin Qureshi MP around the temple grounds.

Asian Image: Cllr Mohammed Ayub with some of the monksCllr Mohammed Ayub with some of the monks (Image: Public)

“He showed them some of the ornamental features along with tree saplings that have been added to the established deciduous trees in this once wind-swept far corner of Kearsley.”

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He added: “The honoured guests and newly elected Kearsley councillor Melanie Livesey cut the ribbon declaring the annual meeting open.  

Asian Image: The event welcomed guests from all over the regionThe event welcomed guests from all over the region (Image: Public)

“This was followed by The Mayor and Mayoress, assisted by Ms Qureshi, planting four fruit trees near the newly installed footbridge that links the main temple area to the Garden of Peace & Reflection.  

 “The Mayor, Mayoress and councillors were then treated to traditional vegetarian Thai food that included the fiery Som Tam, spicy papaya salad.

“All thoroughly enjoyed the food and even came away with a few recipes.”