Preaching to the Anglo-Saxons of Ipswich

On Sunday I was in Ipswich, the oldest continually inhabited Anglo-Saxon town in the UK. It goes back to around 400 AD, when those Angles, Saxons and Jutes first came over here to take our jobs and marry our women. Because they called themselves Englisch they gave our country and people the name. They lasted in power until the Norman French invaded in 1066 and stayed for quite some time.

The region is still known as East Anglia and its been a favourite travelling area of mine for several years. I distributed books there for many years, and have taken festivals and follow-up meetings to many towns in the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk which make up the region. On the map you’ll see the famous 13th century university town of Cambridge where we have a thriving Hare Krishna group, Ipswich, where we have a lively group of newcomers, and Norwich, where we have many friends and supporters. St. Albans, at the bottom of the map, is very close to Bhaktivedanta Manor.

Maps show where those foreigners invaded, and what the region looks like now

So Saturday it was the turn of the descendants of all those Anglo-Saxons to experience Rathayatra for the first time. The parade was held in conjunction with an Indian Mela, a local celebration of Indian arts and performance as part of the Ipswich Arts Week. Its an event that’s grown over the past six years and attracts a few thousand people from the region who are interested in all things Indian. So a good place for us to demonstrate the best of India’s spiritual culture.

Antardwipa das came down from Leicester with his mini-chariot, and the new preachers for the area, two young married couples, Kishor-murti and Dhunya, Karuna-Sindhu and Hana, came with their combined kirtan enthusiasm. Local coordination was provided by Lila Patel and Sejal Patel, with support from Vinay who hosts the local meetings at his home. Pictures taken by Vaibhav.

The procession through the streets of Ipswich begins. Karuna on accordion and singing, Kishor on mridanga drum, Karuna’s wife Hana on hand cymbals

Dhunya and Hana, two happy bhakti-yogis

Through the park, more devotees joining us as we walk

Mastermind of the Mini-Rathayatra phenomenon and architect of the online virtual temple: – Antardwipa das

How an idea turns into a movement. Just do it – and the people will come

Karuna and Kishor created some strong and melodic kirtan

The police drop by to see what all the music and flags are about…

…and give Lord Jagannatha a police escort to the Mela

A good-sized crowd of Anglo-Saxons, all interested in things Indian

The Holy Name arrives, together with the Rathayatra. Later, many people stop by to speak with us.



Filed under Journal, Preaching, Small Groups

3 responses to “Preaching to the Anglo-Saxons of Ipswich

  1. Lila

    Thanks for the nice write up Kripamoya. Stunning pictures. It was a lovely day out. there was a picture of the Deities in the local paper the next day (read by some 15,000).
    Were you surprised how nice and welcoming Ipswich is? The park has a Tudor mansion which houses Gainsboroughs and Constables. We have lots of medieval churches as well; the best Italian ice cream in the region. And lots of nature reserves for birds.
    Our PM will be having a holiday up the coast in quaint and idyllic Southwold.
    There is life outside London after all!

  2. Nice summary. Thanks!
    I was present during the Indian Mela and witnessed this holy rath-yatra. Many thanks for organizing it.
    Hare Krishna!

  3. Dandavats Prabhu
    Looking forward to hearing your Kirtan in Oxford going online
    Hari Haribol

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