Preston North End’s new prayer room so fans don’t have to choose ‘between the game and their faith’
Written by Skywave Radio News on October 19, 2021
A prayer room designed and dedicated for all faiths has been opened by the Preston North End Community and Education Trust (PNECET) to provide “the most welcoming and inclusive place” for the club’s fans.
The prayer room has been opened by the trust to ensure that supporters of all faiths and backgrounds have the space to pray on home matchdays.
Situated on the Invicibles Pavilion between blocks E and F, the prayer room was unveiled for use for the first time ahead of Saturday’s (October 16) fixture against Derby County.
Despite its location, the room will accessible to all no matter what ticket they have purchased- supporters in attendance on a home matchday whose ticket is not for the Invicibles Pavilion can be escorted by stewards to the prayer room every 15 minutes.
To accommodate all varying times of prayer for each individual, the prayer room will be open 90 minutes before kick-off, when the concourses open, through until full-time.
One local multi-faith group, The Light Foundation in Lancashire, attended the unveiling of the prayer room over the weekend and shared their joy over the efforts to include all faiths and backgrounds.
Nadeem Ashfaq of the Light Foundation said: ‘’The Multi-Faith Room at Preston North End is a fantastic step in the many steps the Club are taking in bringing communities together, and demonstrates the importance faith and the general well-being plays in everyday day lives of people.
“Having personally seen the location of where Multi-faith room is – at the very heart of the stands and the food/drink foyer, it is inevitable that people will come together, and new friendships made.”
During the Islamic month of Ramadan (April-May 2021) PNECET launched an initiative providing food packages ands support to those who needed it.
Mo Patel – a practising Muslim supporter who volunteered on PNECET’s Ramadan initiative and is now casual Community Engagement Coordinator with the Trust has praised the steps to creating the prayer room.
Mo said: “Some supporters may have had to make a decision between choosing to pray and attending a match during certain parts of the season, due to the different times that their religion may determine that they need to pray.
“We believe that supporters of all faiths should not have to make that decision and we want to continue to break down all barriers that may prevent any of our existing fans from attending matches at Deepdale, while also encouraging members of our local community to show their support for PNE.
“The opening of the prayer room is another step in our continued work with ethnically diverse members of our community and we will continue to strive to make positive changes to make Deepdale the most welcoming and inclusive place as it possibly can be for all fans.”
The Mayor of Preston, Javed Iqbal was also there on the day to cut the ribbon and welcome fans into the new prayer room.
He said: “added: “It’s an absolute pleasure and delight to open this multi-faith prayer room.
“I hope people will use it and it will help to bring more and more people to North End.”
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