How a Kingston church opened its doors for Muslims to pray

Photo credit: Kingston Muslim Association

From the ashes of a recent fire, worshippers at a Kingston mosque found a new temporary space to pray – inside a local church.

Father Martin Hislop welcomed them into St Luke’s Church following a fire at the nearby mosque on June 9. He told local press: “We are going to do as much as we can. It does mean a bit of re-jigging – but that’s what neighbours do”.

The church’s music room became a space for Muslims to pray after the fire damaged the mosque’s roof and staircase. London Fire Bridage confirmed that 5 per cent of the roof was damaged.

Faisal Hanjra, a trustee of Kingston mosque thanked the church for providing a space to pray. But the measure is temporary. Staff from the mosque still need to find a suitable building for Friday prayers. Given the capacity of the mosque is 800, the church lacks the capacity for an increasing volume of worshippers.

Children were among individuals evacuated from the mosque during the fire and one man was treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Kingston Mosque is still contactable on 020 8549 5315.