The Community Centre
British Empire Medal
It is our pleasure that Hon.Secretary of Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara Mr.Yann Lovelock has been awarded by Her Majesty the Queen on Her birthday Honours with "British Empire Medal" in June 2012 on Ven.Dr.W.Kassapa's proposal at Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara.
Born 1939 in Birmingham but spent most of his life outside it before returning in 1972.
Has been a Buddhist since 1967 and in Birmingham has been connected with the Birmingham Buddhist Vihara (Burmese temple - 1978-2005) and then Birmingham Buddhist Maha Vihara, where he is secretary.
For most of his life he has been a writer, translator and part-time lecturer. His social engagement began here, teaching creative writing in disadvantaged schools and among other disadvantaged groups, where he learnt that the important thing is to give people confidence in themselves.
Worked as a Buddhist chaplain in a large number of HM Prisons 1980-90 and co-founded the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation in 1984; co-ordinator of this until 1995.
Served on the Exec Cttee of the Multi-Faith Resource Unit 1980-86, where he received his first training in interfaith dialogue.
More recent community engagement has included working on behalf of the Neighbourhood Forums in Sparkhill during SRB2 and acting as editor of their community newsletter, Bright Spark (1998-2002). Has served as a director of the TUC Centre for the Unemployed since 2004. Religious activities since 2000 include:
• Executive member of Birmingham Council of Faiths since 2000; joined Be Birmingham as a Faith Champion on its behalf 2007.
• Attended Birmingham SACRE as Buddhist representative 2000-7.
• Founder member of West Midlands Buddhist Council in 2002
• Exec. Cttee of West Midlands Faiths Forum, 2003; Vice Chair 2005-9 (and thereby Alternative Member for Faith on West Midlands Regional Assembly).
• Elected to the Exec of the Network of Buddhist Organisations in 2004, serving as its Interfaith Officer until 2011; and now as Senior Advisor
• Exec. member of the Inter Faith Network UK 2006-11
• Member of the Faith Communities Forum on behalf of NBO, 2006-9; reappointed as Buddhist Society representative 2011
• Trustee of the Faith Encounter Programme since 2006; took its Faith Guiding Course 2011-12 and is now qualified to guide people round the Buddha Gallery of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
• Served on the Council of Dharmic Faiths steering committee 2009; elected Buddhist Vice Chair 2010
• Advisor to Aston University Chaplaincy, 2011
• Advisor to West Midlands Police Chaplaincy, 2011; took their chaplaincy course at the end of June
Awarded the British Empire Medal for services to community cohesion and to inter-faith relations in the West Midlands in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, June 2012