The former Westside Christian Church on the corner of West and Stephen St has been bought by the Islamic Society of Toowoomba.
Author: Chris Calcino, Source: thechronicle.com.au
TOOWOOMBA’S first mosque has opened in a disused church after years of fundraising by the city’s Muslim community.
Ownership of the former home of the Westside Christian Church on the corner of West and Stephen Sts has changed hands to the Islamic Society of Toowoomba.
Founding president Dr Shahjahan Khan hosted the mosque’s first prayer session in the 2765sq m property last week ahead of an official opening planned for March 30.
He said the purchase represented a “new bright chapter” for the city’s Muslim community.
“I thank Toowoomba Regional Council and congratulate the city of Toowoomba for its inclusiveness,” he said.
“May God bless our wonderful city of Toowoomba and guide its people to peace and prosperity.”
The former church was chosen for its central location and the fact the building faces Kaaba – a square stone building in the centre of the Great Mosque at Mecca.
Its zoning as a place of worship also simplified the transition.
Neighbours of the mosque were invited to a “meet and greet” afternoon tea to raise any issues they had with its opening.
“They are always welcome to talk to us about any problems – we want to be good neighbours,” Dr Khan said.
Internal renovations are planned over the coming month ahead of full operations beginning in early-February.
The Islamic Society of Toowoomba has been meeting at the University of Southern Queensland since the group was established in 1994.
The property is believed to have cost $900,000.