The mosque helps Christian neighbors raise funds to save the 150-year-old village church

A mosque in Surrey is looking to raise thousands of pounds and “put smiles on faces” by raising funds to save a 150-year-old village church facing closure.

All Saints Church in Tilford was deemed unsafe when parts of its ceiling collapsed in October 2021 and churchgoers are now having to pay £110,000 for its restoration.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), which represents the Mubarak Mosque, organized a charity race on Sunday to help the church achieve its goal.

The interfaith event will see church congregations, schoolchildren and villagers, as well as hundreds of young Muslims and imams, take part in a 5K or 10K run with all proceeds going to church rescue.

Sabah Ahmedi, 28, one of Britain’s youngest imams, said projects like this could help build bridges between different faith groups.

He told the PA news agency: “It is a fundamental duty of all Muslims to help their neighbors, regardless of their origin.

“So the only way I fulfill my duty is by working with our Church friends and neighbors.

“I truly believe that initiatives like these help build bridges and bring smiles to faces, especially in difficult circumstances.”

All Saints’ Church, consecrated in 1867, is a listed building, which means that any work carried out on it must be carried out by a monument preservation expert capable of working with traditional lime plaster.

To date, the church has raised over £70,000 and restoration work is nearing completion, but it is hoped Sunday’s event will help meet the ultimate fundraising goal.

I hope this opportunity gives us an opportunity to shed some light on how religious harmony can bring people together.

Church Treasurer Charlotte Mathias said funding for the restoration had been a “daunting task” but added that she had brought the people of her village together in “religious harmony”.

“The church is in the heart of our village and is not only an important place of worship but also a local heritage,” said Ms. Mathias.

“The burden of raising the money for the extensive church ceiling work rests entirely with the congregation and is quite a daunting task.

“We are very happy to host this event together with our friends and neighbors from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

“I hope this opportunity gives us an opportunity to shed a light on how religious harmony can bring people together.”

AMYA is helping organize the event to raise money for the church as part of their Mercy 4 Mankind initiative, which celebrates the life of the Prophet Mohammed.

Luqman Bajwa, lead organizer of Mercy 4 Mankind’s charity events, said: “Our flagship event has been running for years and we have raised millions of pounds for UK charities.

“However, this is something unique and special.

“Helping rebuild a church for us as Muslims is something motivated by the life of Prophet Muhammad, who instructed Muslims to protect all places of worship.

“To see the local church in its full glory again will be very rewarding for all of us.”

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