Muslim worshipers have been praying nearby Christians after a church opened its doors to members of the fire-damaged Kingston Mosque.
Father Martin Hislop has welcomed the Muslim community into St Luke’s Church facilities in Burton Road following a fire at the nearby mosque in East Road yesterday.
The fire left the building’s roof and staircase damaged yesterday evening.
Members of the mosque prayed last night and this morning in the church's music room.
Fr Hislop said: “We are happy to rearrange things so the Muslim community can use our music room for everyday prayers. We are just working out what they need.
The aftermath of the fire damage inside Kingston Mosque today
“We are going to do as much as we can. It does mean a bit of re-jigging – but that’s what neighbours do.”
But he added although he would have liked to help house the group’s Friday prayers, the large numbers expected – sometimes more than 1,000 worshipers, would not be feasible for the limited facilities in Burton Road.
Faisal Hanjra, trustee at Kingston Mosque, said: “We managed to pray last night and this morning at St Luke’s Church. We are so grateful for their hospitality.
“There were people in the mosque at the time but thank god no-one was injured. There is some significant damage to the middle part of the mosque so it will mean closure for at least a couple of days. “
He said mosque trustees were currently looking into where Friday prayers could be held but were yet to find a venue in the borough.
Children were among those that had to be evacuated at about 5.45pm yesterday and one man was treated for smoke inhalation.
The Metropolitan Police said the fire in the Kingston Muslim Association building was not being treated as suspicious.
Kingston Mosque is still contactable on 020 8549 5315.
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