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Press release: Fires destroy buildings at the heart of the community


April 14, 2021 By F. F. Content
Remains of the Community Centre

There have been two fires overnight at the Findhorn Foundation community early in the morning of Monday 12 April. The fire brigade was called and arrived on the scene at around 2am. About a dozen Foundation co-workers and community residents in the houses in the vicinity of the fires were safely evacuated as the firemen tackled the blaze. Nobody was hurt and they have been rehoused. Fire wardens assisted the brigade during the early hours of the morning to keep people safe and to communicate with residents.
Two iconic Findhorn Foundation buildings have been destroyed, both at the spiritual and social heart of the community. The community’s main meditation sanctuary, which has been the spiritual heart of the community for decades and the community centre, which has been the hub of the community for meals, social gatherings, talks, and dance and music events since it was built by community members in the 1970s and when the regular programme of residential events are running, is usually very busy.
Caroline Matters, CEO of the Findhorn Foundation is working closely with trustees of the Findhorn Foundation and the New Findhorn Association convenors David Harrison and Lorraine Rytz-Thériault to coordinate a local community response within the 15-hectare bayside site known as The Park. Caroline Matters has stated, “We are so grateful that no one was hurt and know that the spirit of the community lives in our hearts and connects us all here in Moray, Scotland and our global community around the world. Buildings can be rebuilt. Our main concern is to take care of our co-workers and community”.

Remains of the Main Sanctuary

Remains of the Main Sanctuary

As an international spiritual education centre, the community has welcomed thousands of people from all around the world over the last 59 years. However, due to the continuing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, there is no set calendar of events for 2021 and both the community centre and the sanctuary have not been open to use by the community, except at limited times within Scottish Government guidelines.
There is an ongoing joint investigation by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue and the Findhorn Foundation will release more information when it becomes available. The Phoenix community shop is open for business as usual with their normal opening hours. Visitors to the shop are asked to follow any signs or diversions to park when shopping. The Park is only open to residents until further notice and Health and Safety Manager, Marc Zozaya asks that all barriers and cordons be respected until the area is made safe.

Fire crews

Seven fire crews were sent to The Park

Caroline Matters affirms that, “Our purpose and commitment is unwavering. We will rebuild, we have been through trials and tough times before and we will make it through this event. Things will resume after Covid-19 restrictions end, as there are other facilities that can be used. We do not expect it to have a significant impact on the business but it may require some co-workers and residents to be moved from some buildings to others. The safety and well-being of our residents, our community and our guests is of paramount concern. We are deeply grateful to the Scottish Fire Rescue Service for their quick response in containing the fires and ensuring the safety of all concerned. The Findhorn Foundation and community are deeply touched by all the support we are receiving both locally and from around the world.”
Simon Stedman, Chief Financial Officer adds, “Even as we gather as a community to meditate and hold this situation in the light, we also recognise that this situation does present us with financial needs. If you feel moved to give as an immediate response we will very gratefully receive any donations”.

For more information, contact PR Manager, Janet Limb: [email protected]

Donation link: https://www.findhorn.org/donate/

Photos by Hugo Klip

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