If the ceremony had gone ahead as planned, this scene would have been packed with hundreds of people. The low platform, recently rebuilt for the ceremony, would have been filled with Buddhist monks and nuns, some from Japan or other countries with peace pagodas.
The man beyond the platform wearing dark trousers and a white shirt is from the Parks Trust; it’s their land. Like me, he was there to observe, but not participate. Anyone else you can see here is just a passer by.
The Peace Pagoda Ceremony
It’s been forty years since the Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes was finished. This year’s ceremony, the 40th at Willen, was planned to be an important milestone event. Hundreds of people from all over the world would attend and I was looking forward to it.
But the lockdown put paid to that idea. Officially, there was to be no ceremony at all this year. But I turned up to take photographs anyway, to see if anything would happen.
I thought I would perhaps see a monk or a nun chanting for a few minutes, or I would be sat there all afternoon on my own. Either way, I would take photos, if only to record an absence.