25 Midland Street
In the late 1950’s there was a mass immigration of economic migrants from across the commonwealth countries (i.e. Jamaica, Pakistan, India) into the UK to meet the economic demands placed on the economy. Muslims (mainly Pakistani migrants from Kashmir) moved to Skipton and the surrounding factory towns (i.e. Nelson, Keighley etc) to work in the old manufacturing base which powered the northern economies.
In the early years Muslims would pray together within one another’s houses; children would be taught by the educated women within the community. As the community expanded regular congregational prayers would spill out into the streets so as to cope with the demand. With this growing demand the community elders came together to purchase 25 Midland Street from one of the community members for the purpose of acting as a Masjid in the mid-1980’s.
For the next decade 25 Midland street became a place where the community grew closer together via the 5 daily prayers (the Asr prayer in the summer often became the collection point from where children went to play football!). In the mid-1990’s it became apparent that one house didn’t suffice to meet the demands of the community and thus 23 Midland Street was purchased with the aim of more than doubling capacity to approx. 180.
From the mid-1990’s to 2014 25-23 Midland Street witnessed many young children become men and women with degrees. The Skipton community is an anomaly when it comes to education in that on average every household has at least 2 degree holders. It is a statistic which has been driven by a focus on education and a collective desire to see the future Skiptonian Muslims become leaders and influencers in their own communities.
In 2012 a young committee was put together to help the first committee elders drive through a new set of changes which helped put a focus on the next decade of ambitions. That committee set a vision for the new Masjid – ‘Skipton Masjid is a place for nurturing and developing the community’. This vision is there for the entire community (both Muslim and non-Muslim) and it aims to make the Skipton Muslim community even more integrated with the wider community and a place for producing future leaders and doers from amongst the boys and girls. This vision is driven by the vision of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who was a mercy for all of mankind.
Part of the strategy which was put in place was to expand the Masjid to a 3rd house and hold an even larger capacity as well as put in a future proof expansion skeletal structure. Following a 2 year drive in which the community came together to raise over £100,000 the Skipton Masjid was now expanded from 25 Midland Street to 21 Midland Street across 4 levels.