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South London Islamic Centre

South London Islamic Centre (Sunni)

Route

Back opposite St Leonard’s Church, on the very busy Mitcham Lane, is English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church. www.emchurch.org.uk.

The church is usually open between 9 and 10.45am and you could step inside and look at this beautiful building, without prior arrangement. There may be people praying so pupils should be reminded to be quiet.

Right next door to this Church is the mosque. www.streathammosque.org

Background information

You can assemble off the busy road, in the courtyard of the mosque.

This building used to be a fire station (you can still see evidence of this) until it became a mosque in 1977. The Centre is a place of worship and prayer. It supports the local Muslim community, which is very multi racial, through activities such as teaching, funeral services and sports (have a look at their notice board). There is an informative website on which you can hear a recitation from the Qu’ran.

When you leave, cross the road and walk back 50 yards to the traffic lights. On the way, look for a small dry cleaning and dress-making shop** on the right. A Muslim lady took more than a year to hand-embroider the inscription from the Qur’an up on the wall. She makes dresses for Muslims and others – you may see them in the window. ** maximum group size 10

Cross the road to the Manna Christian bookshop. Look in the windows to see what they sell and what organisations they support. If you have time, have a look inside.

As you start to walk down the hill, notice different faith symbols in the window of the Co-op Funeral Directors.

A few shops further, you will come to a halal butcher**. If you look inside, you will see large posters of Makkah up on the wall. There is another halal butcher on the other side of the road. ** maximum group size 10

On the other side is Streatham Green – a small green space with an ornately carved drinking fountain bearing a Christian inscription above it (see the History section on St Leonard’s website).

Note: you will need to remove shoes to go inside the prayer hall (it might be worth a reminder to wear clean socks). Girls and female staff must cover their heads with a scarf and dress modestly with knees and shoulders covered.

Cross over again at the traffic lights at the bottom of the hill and you may see a small street shop/stall selling Muslim artefacts including copies of the Qur’an, hijabs, boys’ and mens’ caps, prayer beads and prayer mats, Islamic books and CDs. It is well worth a look (and a chat with the friendly salesman).

If you walk a little way along Gleneagles Road, to the right, you will see many Somali shops and cafes.

This is where the trail could finish.

Alternatively, to extend the trail will take about 20 minutes to walk to Lewin Road Baptist Church and another 10 minutes on to the Hyderi Islamic Centre.

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