The St Anthon’s Church in Toowoomba invited members of Muslim community for a dinner on Tuesday 28 February at the eve of the start of the Lent, a 40 days long fasting journey leading to the Easter. The day is known as the Shrove Tuesday and the food is dominated by pancake and fruits.
This year the event was special because of the support of the Church for the Garden City Mosque, Toowoomba, especially during the approval process of the rebuilding plan of the burned Mosque by the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) last year.
The main organiser of the event was Dr Mark Copland who is also a Member of the Parish Committee of the Church. The event was blessed by the Priest of the Church and the Catholic Bishop Robert McGuckin. Councillor Megan O’Hara of the TRC also attended the dinner.
The participants from the Muslim community were led by Imam Abdul Kader. He emphasised the strong bond between St Anthony’s Church and Garden City Mosque because of high level of mutual respect and support.
Professor Shahjahan Khan reminded that the relationship between Christians and Muslims in Toowoomba started in 1994 with Fr Brain Sparksman and it is getting better and better over time.
Islamic Society of Toowoomba regularly invites non-Muslims, including members of the St Anthony’s Church, in the Garden City Mosque to breakfast during the fasting month of Ramadan.
The Garden City Mosque, the only Mosque in Toowoomba region for over 2000 Muslims, has received unconditional approval of its development plan from the TRC to rebuild the Mosque that was burned by an arson attack in April 2015.
The Islamic Society of Toowoomba is preparing for receiving the Operational Work Permit from the TRC to start the rebuilding work, and requesting all Muslims to make dua, and support the upcoming fundraising appeal to be launched in the near future.