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Langley Green church converts to new mosque

By Crawley News  |  Posted: April 18, 2012

  • PROMOTING PEACE: Ahsan Ahmedi prays at the new mosque

  • worship: Ahsan Ahmedi prays at the new mosque which has replaced a church in Langley Green eks20121304d

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A MUSLIM group has purchased a church – which has now become a mosque.

The building in Langley Drive, Langley Green was used by the Elim Pentecostal Church.

It was sold to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, with the church moving services to Ifield.

The building's new residents are already using it for prayers – and an open day is being held, as part of plans to make the mosque as welcoming as possible to the whole of the local community.

Ahsan Ahmedi said the association took steps to avoid any ill feeling over the change of use.

He said: "One of the conditions we asked was it was put in writing that the church was happy for us to use the building as a mosque.

"Christianity is the main religion in England and it is very important for us not to hurt other people's religious feelings."

Simon Newham, team rector of the Ifield parish, said it was not unusual for churches in Crawley to be multi-faith centres. He said: "St Leonard's in Langley Green is used as a multi-faith centre and we as a parish are involved in an inter-faith group.

"There has been a lot of work between religious groups in Crawley for some time. It allows for various cultures and faiths to live together and work together.

"Because we come into contact with different groups we have developed an understanding of differences and similarities."

Because the building itself is fairly modern there is very little which needs to be done to change it from a church to a mosque.

Some subtle adjustments will be made such as new carpets.

The church has been paid for by the 150 members of Crawley's Ahmadiyya community.

The open day will be held on May 2 and invites are being sent to neighbours of the new mosque.

There will be an exhibition on the day about Islam and the Ahmadiyya faith, a reformist movement founded in India near the end of the 19th century.

Mr Ahmedi said: "The whole idea is not to preach to people but to explain who we are, what Islam is and for them to have a contact point. If there are any problems in the neighbourhood or someone wants to talk to us, we have an open door policy."

He added that the Ahmadiyya community would continue to be an outward looking group.

"We are here to be part of the wider community and we do a lot of charity work," he said.

"We hold regular fundraising events and if any local groups want us to raise money for them we would be very happy for them to get in touch."

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  • shooter73  |  April 18 2012, 9:46PM

    Is *that* social club still next door to the church? No wonder the CofE were keen to offload it. Not even the great man himself could save the lost souls condemned to spend eternity - or at least an evening- in there. Good luck to the AMA.

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