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Plan to turn former shop into mosque
10:41am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
Councillor Tahirul Hasan has submitted an application to West Oxfordshire District Council to convert a former shop into a mosque
MUSLIMS in the Cotswolds could soon be saying their prayers at a mosque proposed for Chipping Norton.
Town councillor Tahirul Hasan has submitted an application to West Oxfordshire District Council to convert a former shop on Hitchmans Mews, just off West Street, into a Muslim place of worship.
The father-of-three, who has lived in Chippy for 24 years, intends to rent the ground floor room for prayers five times a day, seven days a week.
Seven years ago, Mr Hasan started Friday prayers in the town hall but said he wants to have a room solely for worship, as the hall is also used for other events.
“Muslim people started living in Chipping Norton 30 years ago,” he said.
“Seven years ago we had about eight or 10 people during Friday prayers. Now if it’s the school holidays then the room is full.
“At the moment we just have Friday prayers but we want to pray every day, five times a day. That’s our aim.”
At the moment, people come from Moreton, Stow, Shipston, Woodstock and sometimes Witney to pray in Chippy while the nearest mosques are in Banbury, Oxford or Cheltenham.
Mr Hasan, who owns Hasan Taxis, intends the mosque to be open from sunrise to sunset. He said: “I think it’s very important for our children and for our identity.
It’s very important for the Muslim community. It’s not a traditional mosque. It’s for only going inside, pray and out.”
Reverend David Salter, team vicar in the Chipping Norton team of St Mary’s Church, said: “We welcome people of faith in Chipping Norton and welcome plans to support people in their faith. Christianity and Islam have much in common and we would want to work together in serving people in Chipping Norton.”