In September of 2016, work began on a new mosque in Cambridge. It was billed as Europe’s first eco-mosque, and its promise of a beautiful space for prayer as well as its green credentials meant donations came flooding in from all over the world. No bad thing, considering the cost is expecting to hit a cool £15 million.
As of last month, construction of the mosque hit the halfway point. Judging by the pictures, it looks like that £15 million is going to be money well spent.
Check it out:
The mosque, which was organised by The Cambridge Mosque Trust, is the first purpose built mosque in the city, and it will serve the 6,000 or so Muslims in Cambridge – not to mention the huge number of visiting Muslim students.
According to the website: ‘It will also serve as a cultural bridge fostering greater understanding between communities and have a strong educational component, providing an infrastructure and support for learning and research.’
This inclusive ethos is further reinforced by its approach to its future worshippers: ‘The Cambridge Mosque Trust will not follow or expect adherence to any particular school of Islam and will welcome worshippers from every part of the Muslim family, of both genders.’
Tim Winter, AKA Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, chairman of Cambridge Mosque Trust, wants the mosque to be a place where all are welcome. Speaking to Cambridge News, he said: ‘Everyone will be able to come and use the gardens, or hire the lecture space for events, or sit in the coffee house, or just enjoy the calm ambience of the prayer hall.’
The reason for this, he explained, is to relax tensions between communities and dispel misconceptions about Islam: ‘We are confident that we will be showcasing traditions of hospitality and respect, pushing back against fundamentalism and any other ideology that seeks to damage the unity of the human family.’
These good intentions are backed up by green principals. The building will be powered by renewable energy-harvesting heat pumps and will make maximum use of natural light. Rainwater will be stored to flush the WCs and irrigate the garden, and ground water will heat or cool the building as necessary.
The mosque, which will have enough space for 700 worshippers, is set for completion at the end of this year.
We are sure we’re not alone when we say we can’t wait to visit.