The official opening of the Exeter Mosque and Cultural Centre was attended by the Lord Mayor Cllr Stella Brock, Cllr Pete Edwards, Cllr Rachel Sutton and Cllr Ian Martin and many other distinguished guests from across the world.
We heard how the local Muslim community has grown from a small group meeting at Exeter University in 1978 through the growth of the community and use of 14 York Road for prayers and other cultural activities and the decsion to build a new centre on York Road starting with Planning Permission in 2000 and undergoing years of patient fundraising and hard work to reach today’s official celebration event.
Guests were given tours of the building which as well as the Prayer Room has offices, Meeting Rooms and a large social space with kitchen downstairs. We also enjoyed a lovely lunch. A number of speakers told of the ups and downs along the way and recognised a number of generous financial benefactors and community leaders. The final two speakers were a young man and a young woman both born in Exeter who talked about the importance of the Mosque and its community in influencing their own lives with fond recollections of religious and community events.
The work done with other faith groups in the city and St Sidwells School next door was recognised and celebrated and a warm invitation and welcome to drop in at any time extended to all Exeter residents.