A rural chapel in Llanbedr village, near Harlech in Gwynedd, Wales is set to be turned into a mosque after years of being left empty, The BBC reported.
“It’s been on the market for some time and the application doesn’t involve a real change of use – it will continue to be used as its intended purpose,” said community councilor Gruffydd Price.
The plans to turn Capel Moriah at Llanbedr into a mosque and meditation center was approved by the local council.
Residents welcomed the building returning to being used for worship.
The new Jamia Almaarif Mosque and Meditation Centre will provide “Islamic and non-Islamic activities.”
“It will be available all year round for anyone from the Muslim faith who is traveling or living within traveling distance to pray in it and we do not expect more than 150 people visiting at any one time,” Fatima Bodhee, a director of Jamia Almaarif, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
It is expected that the mosque will most likely only be full during the school holidays and in the summer period as “Llanbedr does not have a Muslim community”.
According to the last census in 2011, not a single person in the village of Llanbedr identified as a Muslim.
The Moriah chapel opened its doors for the first time in 1913.
Built in the “arts and crafts style of the gable-entry type”, it was awarded Grade-II listed status in 1997.
The largest non-Christian faith in Wales is Islam, with about 46,000 adherents in 2011.
Most Muslims live in Cardiff (23,656 in 2011, 6.8% of the population), but there are also significant numbers in Newport (6,859 in 2011) and Swansea (5,415 in 2011).
There has been a Somali and Yemeni Islamic community in Cardiff since the mid-1800s, founded by seafarers to Cardiff Docks.