CHURCH leaders across Worcester have signed an open letter supporting plans for a new £3 million mosque in Worcester.

Members of the Church of England clergy in Worcester East Deanery backed the bid for the contemporary building on Stanley Road in the letter to Worcester Muslim Welfare Association general secretary Mohammed Iqbal.

The Reverend Paula Honniball and Reverend Kalantha Brewis read out the letter during the interfaith Iftar at the mosque in Tallow Hill on Monday (June 11) evening just before worshippers broke their fast.

Reverend Kalantha Brewis said it was very important to show support during what is a very important time for the Muslim community in Worcester.

“We wanted to show our support is because we feel it is very important, especially in the current climate.

“We saw that there had been a mixed reaction to the application and we wanted to make it clear that there are very good reasons for this to go ahead.

“There is so much that is done by the Muslim community in Worcester that is so positive and the sense of community is really fantastic. It is a great example to the rest of us.

“It is a thing that as a community we need to come together to celebrate and support.

“We feel that is it a very positive move in a very important moment for the Muslim community. It is a big step for them and we wanted to affirm and encourage that.”

Mr Iqbal from the Worcester Muslim Welfare Association said he and the Muslim community were "completely overwhelmed" by the letter and the support the from the Church.

"I've had quite a lot of calls since the announcement from people wanting to show their support.

"I've seen some negative comments towards the mosque and obviously the church have also read some of those and wanted to show their support.

"It is a really good message. We should be all working together especially in churches and mosques."

The new mosque in Stanley Road will include four apartments, a new sports facility, youth room and gym.