Woodlands Buddhist monastery opens as HQ for its 3,500 members

The Grand Shrine Hall of BW Monastery.
The Grand Shrine Hall of BW Monastery.ST PHOTO: JOSE HONG

SINGAPORE - A Buddhist monastery to serve Singapore's north officially opened on Friday (Aug 11).

The BW Monastery, slightly smaller than a football field, can hold 1,200 people in total.

In addition to a prayer shrine, the temple houses facilities, such as a 400-person multi-purpose hall, a library, classrooms and a museum.

The 34,400 sq ft monastery at 1, Woodlands Drive 16, will be the new headquarters for BW Monastery and will complement its five existing centres around the island, to fully serve its 3,500 members. It replaces its previous headquarters in Geylang.

The opening of the monastery is good news for finance professional Florence Tan. The 47-year-old has been a member of the monastery since 2014, and was at the opening ceremony.

She said: "It is a building the members have been longing to have for a long time because of our expanding membership in our centres."

From left: Venerable Ben Wen, Deputy Abbot Venerable Ben Si, Abbot Venerable Jing Yuan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and BW Monastery management committee member, Dr Oh Kheng Hoe, at the official opening ceremony of BW Monastery in Woodlands on Friday, Aug 11. ST PHOTO: JOSE HONG

The Buddhist place of study and worship cost $15 million to build and construction began in October 2015. The land on which it stands cost $5 million.

The seating capacity of the multi-purpose hall was reduced from the planned 700 to 400 because of issues like safety and security considerations.

The opening ceremony was attended by close to 1,000 people, with Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan and Dr Lim Wee Kiak, an MP for Sembawang GRC, as guests of honour.

The monastery's vice-president for public relations and communications, Ms Jennifer Goh, said she was "very happy and delighted that this majestic building was built for everybody in the community".