Prospective Labour candidate for Guildhall Fiona Fitzpatrick has spoken of being a guest at the recent opening of York’s first purpose-built Mosque.
Plans for the new £1.5million Mosque in Bull Road, built with donations from the local community, have been in the making for around ten years, and building work began in 2015. The new building will serve not only as a place of prayer, but also as a community meeting place for events such as interfaith meetings, children’s classes and art exhibitions.
The official opening, on November 24th was attended by Fiona as one of the guests of honour along with Labour’s York Central MP Rachael Maskell among other dignitaries.
“I have been a long time friend of York Mosque,” Fiona said, “dating back to when, as a Councillor in Hull Rd, I helped support the planning application for a new Mosque. It was an ambitious project but with a huge fund raising effort from the community at the Mosque, supported by local friends, including myself and Cllr Neil Barnes, the vision began to become a reality. After being invited to help cut the ribbon at a ceremony for the laying of the first brick, I was delighted to be invited again to be one of the guest speakers at the recent Grand Opening. It was a wonderful day with speeches, food, prayers and local and national guests alike.
“I feel privileged to have been on this journey with the York Mosque community, visiting during Ramadan, attending open days and even being invited to a fabulous wedding reception there recently! It’s a place I know I will always be made welcome.
“I was also there on the day the EDL turned up to protest outside, only for them to be completely disarmed by being invited inside for a cup of tea and a chat!
“Promoting diversity and equality is something I am passionate about. York Mosque and the community that worship there, add to the rich tapestry of life in York.”