ENGLAND: Multi-million pound multi-faith center to open in Guildford

February 25, 2008

A 6.5 million British pounds (US$13 million) multi-faith center is to be built in Guildford, southern England with separate worship areas for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and a further shared space for Buddhists and Hindus.


"We think this is the first of its kind," Lesley Scordellis, the center's main fundraiser, was quoted as saying by The Times newspaper on February 22. "The Jewish space has an exclusive kosher kitchen and the Muslim space has an ablutions facility," she said. "The design of the building is to facilitate the feeling that they [worshippers] are in one building about faith."

The Church of England has donated 250,000 pounds (US$500,000) toward the center, which will be located close to Guildford Cathedral and Surrey University and is scheduled to open in 2010.

"It is very important that people see this as a world class project which will have a world impact," the Rev. Mark Rudall, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Guildford, told Ecumenical News International.

Abdul Mateen Sansom, a Muslim chaplain, welcomed the establishment of a multi-faith center close to the university and cathedral. "I believe the design and underpinning ethos of this project have potential for notable impact nationally and internationally," he told The Times.