On Thursday 17th January, the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC) were formally presented with the prestigious Victorian Society 2017 Birmingham & West Midlands Conservation Award for the renovation of their historic building in Small Heath, Birmingham.
The event was attended by Yvonne Mosquito, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, who presented the Bronze award and a framed scroll to Mohammed Saeed, Chair of the Board of Trustees of GLMCC.
The building was originally opened as a library in 1894 and then with adjacent swimming pools in 1902. Designed by local architects Martin & Chamberlain and built in the redbrick and terracotta Gothic-Jacobean style between 1893 and 1902, it is a Grade II listed building. With its large clock tower and distinct Victorian style, the iconic building occupies a prominent corner position on Green Lane off the main Coventry road. Renovations have been ongoing since the mosque purchased it back in 1979, with major refurbishments having taken place from 2011 to 2015.
Stephen Hartland, Chairman of The Victorian Society in Birmingham remarked on the quality of the renovations saying that:
“It was the clear winner from the many contenders and that whilst such conversions can be very challenging, it is acknowledged that the Green Lane building has been adapted very successfully”
Mohammed Saeed commented,
“It was wonderful for our building to be recognised by the Victorian Society for this prestigious award. During recent refurbishment projects, we have been very sympathetic and conscious to retain the natural beauty and character of the building. Before we purchased the building in 1979 from the City council, it was heavily vandalised whilst it lay vacant for a period of two years. In recent years, we are pleased to have restored the building to its former glory whilst modernising the facilities to meet the needs of today’s users. Although our religious services are focussed on the Muslim community, many of our other services are open to people of all faiths, all of whom we welcome.”
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Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
20 Green Lane
Birmingham, B9 5DB
Tel: 0121 713 0080
Fax: 0121 713 0081
Email: [email protected]
BACKGROUND TO THE VICTORIAN SOCIETY
The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment. Registered Charity No. 1081435.
BACKGROUND TO GLMCC
Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre (GLMCC) is a leading UK mosque based in the heart of Small Heath in Birmingham. Having acquired the premises in 1979, the trustees and committee members have been evolving the mosque and it’s building over the decades to create a mosque that acts as a hub for the local community, consisting of prayer halls for men and women, a community hall, evening school for children, educational institute, library and some accommodation. It also provides a funeral service to the local Muslim community.
GLMCC occupies a prominent corner position on Green Lane in Small Heath. The building was originally constructed as a public library and baths, designed by local architects Martin & Chamberlain and built in the redbrick and terracotta Gothic-Jacobean style between 1893 and 1902. It is a Grade II listed building.
Recognised internationally, GLMCC has circa 750,000 followers on Facebook. It was also runner up in the model mosque competition held by Islam Channel in 2017.
A brief summary of some of the main activities and services operated from the centre:
- Adults education holding over 70 classes a week
- Green Lane Institute of Islamic knowledge (GLISK), which runs evening classes for adults in Arabic and Quranic studies
- A weekly children’s evening school/madrasah run 4 days a week with over 400 children registered
- Annual conferences attended by over 2,000 people
- Weekly Islamic talks attended by hundreds
- A monthly kids Budding Believers club, a weekend school with over 100 children
- Counselling services run by 2 qualified counsellors
- A funeral service managing over 30 funerals and burials a year
- A Foodbank that has supported over 3,000 families over the years
- A charitable giving (Islamic zakat/charity) service that distributes close to £200k of the Muslim communities charity donations to UK people and families in need
- Sisters coffee mornings held every Thursday, attended by around 60 sisters each week, providing a much needed social activity for the women in the community, particularly those on their own or single mothers.
We’ve also kicked off several new projects over December and January, including a monthly elderly social and lunch, a soup kitchen and a community Streetwatch initiative.
- We run the bi-annual Celebrate Eid event in Small Heath, Birmingham. This is the largest outdoor Eid event in Europe with over 100,000 people attending. Arranged twice a year, this is a fantastic and fun community event for all, with a fairground, food stalls and much more.
International Humanitarian Wing:
- Task Force Green Lane Masjid, our international humanitarian wing, has raised over £5m over the past 5 years for needy causes overseas.
- From supporting the recent humanitarian crisis in Yemen to providing homes and essential support to Syrian refugees and orphans fleeing conflict zones, the taskforce provides a lifeline of support to those in severe conditions.
- The team supports and has helped various NGO’s including Islamic Relief in establishing key projects around the world.
- We currently provide ongoing support for the orphanage we built and established in Lebanon, where we paired Syrian widows with lost orphans to form families. We provide a purpose built building with apartments for them to live and cover living costs for these families.
Other Major Activities:
- The GLM football club, in association with the FA, holds 3 football sessions per week for adults and children
- We hold weekly Kick-boxing classes, with separate classes for kids and adults
- There is a weekly ladies basketball session, every Sunday
These and the many other activities run by the organisation, make it a truly active active hub for the community.