CHURCH leaders across Worcester have lent their support to an ambitious £3million Worcester Muslim Welfare Association bid to build a new mosque in the heart of the city.
Members of the Church of England clergy in Worcester East Deanery backed the bid for the contemporary building on Stanley Road in a letter to association general secretary Mohammed Iqbal.
Rev Paul Honniball and Rev Kalantha Brewis attended the interfaith Iftar at the mosque on Monday evening to present the letter and were invited to read it out to those gathered just before the Ramadan fast was broken.
Under the ground-breaking proposals, the association wants to build the mosque on the old Stanley Road School car park and move from its current site on Tallow Hill to cater for its growing number of worshippers.
The charity also intends to build apartments and a new sports centre at the site, which includes Unity House community centre.
Senior figures from St Nicholas Church, St Barnabas with Christ Church, St Martin’s, St John the Baptist in Claines and All Saints Worcester are among those lending their names to the cross-faith show of support.
Rev David Morphy, associate priest at St Stephen’s Barbourne, Rev Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen, canon theologian at Worcester Cathedral and Rev Andy Stand, team vicar at St Mark in the Cherry Orchard and St. Philip and St. James in Whittington are also among the names on the letter.
“We are aware the current accommodation for the purposes of worship and religious education for the Muslim community in Worcester is very limited,” the letter reads.
“We wish to record publicly we welcome the development of the facilities you are proposing, particularly the development of a worship space which can be used by female worshippers, sports facilities for the local community and facilities for young people.
“This will be a significant investment in the city we all share.
“We wish to offer you and your colleagues our encouragement and support as leaders of a local faith community and to assure you of our goodwill as your neighbours.
“We unreservedly endorse the right of the Muslim community in Worcester to have a place of worship which is appropriate for its needs,” the letter adds.
Members hope to raise the cash to fund the new development in the next five years should they be given the green light by city planning chiefs.