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Welcome to the Ipswich & Suffolk Bangladeshi Muslim Community Centre and Mosque.

Suffolk has been a beacon in the East of England for Muslims all over the world. Suffolk has had some local prominent people such as Muhammad Marduke Pickthall, translator of the Quran to English (1930) and Lady Evelyn Zainab Cobbold, first British born woman to do the pilgrimage to Makkah (1934). It was only natural that this beacon should grow richer in culture and spirituality.

The major influx of Muslims into Ipswich happened afterWWII, when Bangladeshi Muslim came to work in the factories of Ipswich. The first Imam was appointed in the late 1970’s to look after the spiritual needs of the community. There was no fixed place of worship at that time. He would lead congregational prayers in various halls hired for that purpose. The religious teaching of children was from four designated centres in Ipswich. These centres were often the houses of Muslims willing to lend their homes forthe greater good.

Ipswich Mosque was founded in 1984 by local Bangladeshi Muslims. The building, a formerVictorian fire station, was purchased for use as a community centre and place of worship. The capacity of the mosque was about 50 worshippers. It was a male only congregation as there was no separate area for women. The facilities were very basic as it was a dilapidated building. The number of people attending on an average Friday was 15 to 20 people.

There was a substantial Muslim community but they were mostly single men and working on a Friday and for that reason the attendance was low. There would be classes for children six days a week and this was better attended. However at that time there were some 20 families living in Ipswich. The establishment of the mosque led people to me more aware of their spiritual needs and gradually the congregation and the children attending the mosque grew.

The increase of the congregation led to the purchase of a Portakabin. However, this was often not enough. The mosque on any Friday in the 1990’s would get so overcrowded that the worshippers had to pray outside in the car park. The situation was getting urgent and an expansion and renovation project was started.

We were very fortunate that a building in Upper Orwell Street became vacant and was purchased by the community to expand the mosque and to accommodate women. The existing community centre was extended and renovated for use as classrooms and general community purpose.

We have recently purchased another building on Upper Orwell Street for extending prayer hall facilities. We hope to be bringing this into use in the near future. This expansion and growth has only been possible with the financial and moral support of our users and the Community of Ipswich. We are a small, diverse community united by our love of Islam. We come to the mosque to worship Allah, find solace and balance in our lives. We actively strive to get on well with our neighbours and the wider community.