Consultancy project for the Cambridge Mosque Trust

The Consultancy Services team supported Dr Chris Moses, an anthropologist of religion in the Faculty of Divinity, who was hired by the Trustees of the Cambridge Mosque Trust to prepare a report looking ahead to the institution’s opening in 2019.

The Trustees, led by Dr Timothy Winter, oversee a remarkable new mosque, now under construction on Mill Road in Cambridge. When it opens, it will be the only ecomosque in Europe. Incorporating the latest conservation technology and green roofs, it will have close to zero carbon footprint. It is likely to have a significant impact on conversations around mosque architecture, sustainability and the environment.

It will also be Cambridge’s first purpose-built mosque, dedicated to the spiritual and social welfare of the city’s estimated 6,000 Muslims, including many visiting students. Its founders intend for it to be a cultural bridge in the city, fostering greater understanding among  communities.

Dr Moses’s assignment was to prepare an in-depth report to inform the Trustees’ perspectives on key sociological, political and organisational issues that the mosque might face. He drew on a wide range of sources, including local views, Census and Charity Commission data and extant accounts of religious organisations, as well as his prior ethnographic research on Islamic institutions and the public sphere.

The report covered a number of topics, including the demographics of Cambridge’s Muslim population, community needs, financial and organisational aspects of the mosque’s incipient stages and existing good practice among Islamic institutions nationwide. A section on Cambridge-specific dynamics considered how the mosque might best engage with characteristics unique to the city, including the linguistic and ethnic diversity of its Muslim population, its permanent and transient populations, prevailing socio-economic trends, opportunities for social and religious outreach and major events in the local calendar.

This case study is included on page 27 in the 2018 Annual Review.

Image: The Cambridge Mosque 

Credit: Marks Barfield Architects

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