A leading liberal clergyman has come under fire from traditionalist Anglicans after allowing a full Muslim prayer service in his church.
Reverend Giles Goddard, vicar of St John’s in Waterloo, central London, joined in the event by reading a passage from the Bible at the ‘Inclusive Mosque’ event.
He then asked the congregation to praise ‘the god that we love, Allah’, it was reported last night.
It is thought to be the first time an entire Islamic service has been held by the Church of England and has sparked criticism from evangelical clerics.
Orthodox clergyman said the event was against canon law, which prohibits any divergence from the official liturgy.
They argued that it could be ‘offensive’ to Christians who are persecuted for their faith.
Rev Goddard defended his decision to hold the event, describing it as a ‘very moving’ service. He said his intention was simply to offer people a ‘place to pray’.
He told the Christian Today website that everything his church did was legal and within bishops’ guidelines.
He added: ‘It is very much about St John’s being a place of welcome. We understand God as a generous God, a God who celebrates love and celebrates life.
‘We try and make sure we live that out. In that sense we feel very properly Anglican.’
The ‘Inclusive Jummah’ was held in partnership with the Inclusive Mosque Initiative.
It was organised to coincide with the run-up to International Women’s Day last weekend.
The service was arranged by Dr Amina Wadud, a campaigner for gender justice in Islam.
Rev Goddard said the service had not put off Christian churchgoers and his congregation is growing.
He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We are offering a place for people to pray so it made absolutely perfect sense. We should be offering [a place] to party, we are the Church of England.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY MAIL