Plans have been lodged to turn a United Kingdom landmark city centre church into a mosque.
Zamir Foundation is behind the plan to reopen the abandoned St John’s Church, in Town Road, Hanley, Staffordshire, England.
The foundation sought to turn the Grade-II listed building – which was built for £5,000 in 1788 and has not been used as a church since the 1980s – back into a ‘place of worship’.
The building will also become a ‘community, heritage and educational facility’.
It was last used as an antiques centre and cafe before its closure in 2020. Now the Darul Falah Centre has snapped up the building for £140,000 before it went up for auction.
The planning application submitted to Stoke-on-Trent City Council states: “The building was constructed and used as a place of worship serving Hanley and the surrounding area. This use ceased in the mid-1980s.
“The form of worship taking place will essentially be Islamic. The ground-floor space will be subdivided into three distinct areas. The two larger spaces will be used for worship. Prayer sessions will take place five times daily and will take between five and 15 minutes.
“Prayer times will provisionally be 5.30 am, 1.30 pm, 5.30 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm. Friday prayer will take place between 1 pm and 2 pm. These times may vary slightly during summer and winter in line with sunrise and sunset.”
“The proposed use would return the building to its original and intended use – as a place of worship and for community purposes. This would be a completely logical and appropriate use which will enable this historic and important building to once again serve the area as a cultural and community asset,” the application added.
Council planners are expected to rule on the application within weeks. (StokeonTrentLive)