Archway minister hits out at ‘fake news’ rumours his methodist church will be turned into a mosque
PUBLISHED: 12:13 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:11 21 February 2019
A minister has labelled rumours his Archway church is going to be turned into a mosque as “fake news”.
Rev Tim Bradshaw of the Archway Methodist Church has been fielding complaints left, right and centre from the community who are seemingly outraged at the thought of one place of worship being replaced by another. Someone has even created a poster.
Rev Bradshaw reckons the proposed redevelopment of the dilapidated former methodist church hall next door could be giving people the wrong impression. But even that doesn’t explain where the mosque rumours came from, because the two live applications to redevelop the hall are for offices and an arts space.
Seemingly unfazed by this minor detail, the poster screams “SAY NO TO THE SUPER MOSQUE”. It depicts the methodist hall rather than the church.
In an angry email sent to Islington Council, Rev Bradshaw said both applications had listed the address of his church instead of the hall, which was has not been used for religious purposes since the 1980s.
“This is the address of the church and NOT the former worship centre,” he said. “As a direct result of this, we are now receiving hate mail, from those opposed to a planning application for a mosque. They clearly think that we have sold our premises to a Muslim group.”
Speaking to the Gazette, Rev Bradshaw added: “A poster is going around and now people are saying the church is being sold ‘to the Muslims to build a mosque’. It’s fake news.
“I’ve had to put up a notice on the front door to the church saying it’s not going to be a mosque. I went to the shop the other day and came back and people were there saying: ‘It’s lies, it is going to be a mosque’.”
Two rival planning applications have been submitted to redevelop the old methodist hall, neither of which are for a mosque.
One is from Flowervale Properties, which wants to turn it into a huge office block, and the other is from the Better Archway Forum, which has long campaigned for it to be an arts and community venue.
Forum member Adrian Betham, the architect behind that application, told the Gazette he also has no idea where the rumours originated and believes it would not even be allowed to become another place of worship due to the terms of sale.