Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Survey reveals mosque insights

Muslims praying
The Charity Commission encourages mosques to register with it

The average mosque in England and Wales attracts 400 attendees at Friday prayer meetings, while providing a range of community services, a survey has found.

The survey of 255 mosques also revealed that on average they had an estimated annual income of 233,452.

Most - 83% - had been established more than 10 years ago, it found.

Many of the mosques were providing education for children, charity fundraising and leisure activities, the Charity Commission study said.

The independent survey was prepared by BMG Research and commissioned by the Charity Commission's faith and social cohesion unit to provide information on mosques which has not been previously gathered.

Advice and support

Almost all, 94%, of mosques deliver educational programmes for children and young people, while 82% carry out fundraising for the relief of poverty and hardship.

The survey found 61% carry out women's groups and activities, while 47% deliver sports and leisure activities, and 31% organise activities for senior citizens.

The Charity Commission has an essential part to play in supporting all faith-based charities so that they can maximise the contribution they make to society
Dame Suzi Leather

The survey also found mosques who have had contact with the Charity Commission are more likely to have Child Protection policies, CRB checks and building insurance in place and 49% report they would go to commission staff for advice and support.

Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, said the research revealed the important contribution mosques were making to communities.

She said: "I'm really interested to see the wide range of services that mosques provide, from healthy living activities to legal advice services and from fundraising for those in financial hardship to sport and leisure.

"The Charity Commission has an essential part to play in supporting all faith-based charities so that they can maximise the contribution they make to society."

Seyyed Ferjani, chair of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board welcomed the research, saying it was a useful starting point.

He said: "I hope it will also be a useful resource for Muslim communities throughout England and Wales. The helpful advice and information provided by the faith and social cohesion unit is clearly of benefit to those mosques which responded to the survey. "

Ghulam Rasool, head of the Charity Commission's faith and social cohesion unit said: "This research provides a useful insight into Muslim communities, and whilst we believe it is the widest survey of its kind carried out to date, it has also identified a number of areas for further research and exploration."



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