Charitable Trust

HOPE not hate

A cup of tea leads to a great discovery in Cardiff

posted by: Tom Godwin | on: Wednesday, 28 October 2015, 09:25

On the first Saturday of every month, the Meeting Room Café pops up in St Teilo’s Church in Cathays. Inspired by HOPE not hate’s Our Cup of Tea campaign, a group from the Dar Ul-Isra mosque decided to have their weekly meeting at the Meeting Room.

Like everyone who walks through the door, they were welcomed with open arms. And cake. Lots of cake.

A month’s supply of cake

A month’s supply of cake

Dar Ul Isra mosque is a two-minute walk away from St. Teilo’s. The site has an interesting history: once a church hall, it was bombed in the war, then rejuvenated by students in 1989, who bought the land and turned it into an Islamic Centre for prayer, study and community.

The Our Cup of Tea campaign is based on a simple idea. While extremists try to convince us that we are divided, the majority of us are basically having a cup of tea and getting on with things. For the congregation from Dar Ul-Isra, and the hard-working volunteers at The Meeting Room, it was an excuse to meet their neighbours.

Does anyone really need that much of an excuse for a cup of tea?

Does anyone really need that much of an excuse for a cup of tea?

Chat quickly sparked between the Muslim and Christian congregations at the Church about their shared history in the community. After some interesting discussion, Matthew from the church management team went rustling in the back room for a few minutes. He emerged a few minutes later with the original church hall plans dating to 1908, showing the Muslim congregation for the first time the full history of their Mosque.

It was a piece of shared history neither expected. Mohammed, who invited members of the mosque to the Church, quickly shared the find on the Our Cup of Tea facebook page.

“The whole group from Dar ul Isra were so excited by the find and it created a stronger connection with our Christian neighbours”, he said. “We are arranging another visit to go through the archives properly and also get a copy of the original 1908 plans to showcase in our foyer."

Building bridges across our shared history

Building bridges across our shared history

Amazing what a cup of tea can do. When organising a large voter registration campaign in Cardiff last year, both the mosque and the church acted as bases for HOPE not hate volunteers to meet for door knocking sessions and getting people registered in the local community. This was the first time the different congregations had had the chance for a sit down for a proper cuppa.

In the process it has led to a shared sense of history, a lasting link in the community and, hopefully, many more cups of tea.

 Posted: 28 Oct 2015 | There are 0 comments

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