The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev. Philip North, invited local British Muslim leaders to his home for a special Christmas tea. The event was also attended by the Mayor and Mayoress Charlie Briggs and Patricia Lunt, Burnley Expressed reported on December 25.
“Since coming to Burnley, I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Muslim community on numerous occasions, especially around Festival time, and it was great to be able to repay some of that hospitality by inviting some Muslim leaders to my home as Christians keep the great festival of Christmas,” the Bishop expressed.
They talked about the theme of hope and peacefulness in their city. “It was an upbeat and positive occasion and so good for faith leaders to come together,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mozaquir Ali, former Burnley borough Muslim councilor and one of the directors of Building Bridges in Burnley, added: “The Muslim faith and community leaders were overwhelmed with the hospitality. We enjoyed and appreciated the goodwill gesture of Bishop Philip’s celebration of Christmas with us.”
Ali further said that “In view of the current situation in the country and around the world, where there are many forces at work to create discord amongst communities and faiths, it’s important we continue our efforts to work hard to build new and maintain existing relationships with all faiths and communities to ensure co-existence and harmony.”
The north English city of Burnley has ten mosques, with the first purpose-built premises opened in 2009 and the 2001 census for Burnley gives a religious make-up of 6.6% Muslims. It’s worth mention that Queensgate Islamic Centre in the city was previously a Pentecostal church, and originally was Queensgate Wesleyan Methodist Church which closed in 1968. Moreover, the Bethel Scottish Baptist chapel which was founded in 1867 and closed in 1968 too was converted to a Muslim school.
This article was originally published on aboutislam.net