News Article

Prayer Space Project

Sharmeen, your Student Union officer (Vice President Healthcare Practice) has been working closely with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and the Chelmsford Islamic Society to establish a Muslim Prayer space at ARU Chelmsford.

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A picture of two people use prayer mats side by side

Sharmeen Jawad, Vice President Healthcare Practice, started this SU campaign at the request of many Muslim students. It follows on from years of efforts from the Islamic Society and members of the ARU Chelmsford Muslim community to secure an adequate prayer space. Campaign work started in September 2022 and involved how to best address the needs of the ARU Muslim community on campus. Sawyer’s gym was secured as a Muslim prayer space and we are delighted to announce that this space is currently under construction. The project will be complete for early October 2023.

A picture of the construction work being done to create the new prayer roomA picture of the construction being done to create the new prayer room. There is scaffolding extending from floor to ceiling and blank walls that are yet to be finished.

The Muslim prayer space will include separate prayer spaces for both men and women, separate ablution facilities for both men and women, bathrooms with bidets, a sliding wall between the men and women’s prayer spaces, a sound system for congregational prayers and premium carpeting. Coat hooks, shoe racks and shelving will also be provided.

A floorplan of the prayer space, detailing the features of the room. A continuation of the prayer space plans, showing the room from different angles

More plans for the prayer room, from a horizontal point of view

The SU are incredibly grateful to the ARU Muslim community and Islamic Society for their initiative, perseverance, and patience with this crucial project. Many thanks to the chaplaincy and student services for their ongoing support, and the ARU Estates department and the senior management team for agreeing to this project and making it a soon-to-be reality.

It is important to recognise the needs of the ARU community and key demographics; we feel that this prayer space has not only addressed a pressing requirement, but has paved the way for improving on equity, diversity, and inclusion at ARU.

An informal opening will commence in the next few weeks for all students and staff, followed by a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in late October/November. More information will be provided on these events in due course.

For any questions about the project, please contact Sharmeen (Project Lead) at s.jawad@angliastudent.com or via Instagram at @_sharmeen_aru

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