Gilwell Park Scout Campsite, considered as one of the most significant landmarks to the world scouting movement, is a 44 acre gem nestled on the edge of Epping Forest in London, UK. Sitting proudly within the grounds, are not only buildings representing the major faiths of the world, but also the stunning White House and its grounds representing over 500 years of a colourful history connected to it – some legends even claim Henry VIII owned the land during the 16th Century.
The Gilwell Park Mosque became a dream of the founding members of the Muslim Scout Fellowship, and work began quickly hand in hand with The Scout Association to make this a beautiful reality. With this amazing dream on the table UKMSF actively begun fundraising, from meeting elite donors around the world, fundraising events with Muslim scout groups in the UK to supporting individuals taking on sponsored events. With fundraising activities in full flow, the united efforts of everyone involved saw us reach the required amount and complete the charismatic Gilwell Park Mosque.
On the blessed afternoon of 14 November 2015, whilst the heavens poured down with mercy, over 200 members including UKMSF founders, donors, local scout leaders and Scout Association team, travelled from all over the world and the UK to come together to inaugerate the Mosque and open it to the world.
“What was once a dream of a few is now a beautiful reality that the many can embrace, enjoy and love.”
Events and Operation
Gilwell Mosque stands humbly within the Gilwell Park Faith Walk, which takes participants around the open space and various faith structures, allowing them to learn about the different faiths in a neautral environment.
Annually there are a number of events that take place aimed at different sections, with attendance varying between 3000 – 8000 per event. This added to the international visitors, campers, and local users, it is estimated that over 500,000 people a year visit Gilwell Park. With such a diverse and wide attendance, it makes Gilwell Mosque a fantastic platform to also share the true, peaceful and loving message of Islam.
Whilst Gilwell Mosque is typically used to provide a peaceful dedicated place for Muslims to offer their prayers when visiting Gilwell Park, it is also open to the visiting members of all faiths and beliefs all year around. The interactive screens, translated wall calligraphy and self run activities allow anyone to learn even without a representative being present.
During larger events, a team of UKMSF and local volunteers facilitate simple activities and “guided tours” through the Mosque, allowing participants to learn about Islam through some simple, fun and easy to do activities. It also opens the opportunity for many people to visit a Mosque for the first time in their lives and reflect upon the simplicity within this spiritually uplifting place.
Through welcoming all members into the Mosque, our teams have also experienced unique uplifting moments, whether it was a non Muslim learning how to do wudu, or it was a non Muslim joining in a full prayer in the Mosque and sharing their own spiritual uplifting.