Some might characterize this as a generous ecumenical gesture, but in any case it is one that will never in a million years be remotely reciprocated. “Church of England donates cash to aid Muslim prayer,” by Ruth Gledhill for The Times :
A diocese of the Church of England is giving an unprecedented Â£250,000 towards a multi-faith building in which the largest amount of worship space will be reserved for Muslims.
The Guildford diocese is one of the wealthiest in the UK. The Bishop of Guildford, the Right Rev Christopher Hill, today handed over the Â£250,000 cheque to Surrey University for the first multi-faith building of its kind in Britain.
The Â£6.5 million building will contain separate worship spaces for the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Sikh communities, along with a further shared space for Buddhists and Hindus.
All faiths will share the cafe in the basement, with a shared staircase down from the upper floors.
Converting each other will be strictly forbidden, an insider said, but it is hoped that the different faith members will form friendships, learn to respect each other and enhance each other’s understanding.
Muslim chaplain Dr Abdul Mateen Sansom, said: “As well as being a sorely needed practical solution to student needs, I believe the design and underpinning ethos of this project have potential for notable impact nationally and internationally.”
I expect it will at that.