My reflections; Toqueer Ahmed Quyyam, volunteer with Birmingham Friends of the Earth and Footsteps, and organiser of the Green Lane Masjid visit on 13 October 2021.
I was humbled to organise a visit to the Green Lane Masjid. My passion is to bring people together from all faiths and backgrounds and this was a great way to reach out to others not from my faith. It was great to see representatives from various groups attend. The hosts were very pleasant and hospitable, they provided refreshments and showed us around the Masjid.
My highlight was seeing the main hall turned into a Vaccination Centre and seeing people benefiting from it, as well as 100’s of events and activities that the Masjid hosts for the community.
Green Lane Masjid has lots of green initiatives such as litter picking and a foodbank. A few years ago, it went plastic free for Ramadan, giving out reusable bottles to its Congregation, thus saving 30,000 plastic water bottles being used. It’s good to highlight such good practice, so that it can give inspiration and confidence to other places of worship to also take the steps to become greener. By sharing, learning from each other and doing, we can all reduce our places of worship’s carbon footprint as well as support our communities to do the same.
It was really insightful and I learnt a lot from my experience. My message to anyone thinking about a visit to Green Lane Masjid or one local to you, please do go to as many open days throughout the year as possible. You will always be welcome no matter what faith, no faith or background you come from.
Marcus Belben, joined me on my visit to Green Lane Masjid. Here are his reflections:
“I have passed Green Lane Mosque so many times, it was great to be shown around the Mosque and we were made so welcome by Kamran, Saleem and Mohammed. The building itself is fascinating – a Victorian swimming pool converted into a very active Mosque serving its community, everyone who lives locally and more widely across Birmingham and through International Aid programmes.
It is clear everyone at the mosque is deeply committed to community good and I am very much looking forward to working collaboratively with Green Lane Mosque in the future. I have just been in contact with them to see if we can collaborate on a litter picking activity for Sara Park and Kingston Hill Park working with Green Lane Masjid and a number of other partners. I hope we can work with faith groups and other community groups local to Small Heath, and I believe Green Lane Mosque should play a central role in any local partnership.
My new role at The Active Wellbeing Society as of the beginning of November is ‘Green Social Prescriber’. I am connecting local groups with volunteers we (TAWS) are in contact with for their wellbeing and to develop local groups caring for their communities. The litter picking is one of a number of activities we will be providing to engage local people, find out what they want, and to support existing and emerging groups working with their community.”