Congratulations to Isaac Poobalan and St John’s, Aberdeen

Great blessings upon the Rev Isaac Poobalan and St John’s Church in Aberdeen for the story that has gone global from the Scottish Episcopal Church this week.

Noticing that the neighbouring mosque did not have enough room and that people were praying outside in the cold, Isaac invited them into the church and made space for them to pray. It is a great good news story and one that made me proud to be an Episcopalian.

A couple of years ago I was approached by some members of the committee of the local mosque here. Their building was being redone and was out of use for six weeks and they were looking for somewhere to worship for that time. We had quite a good conversation about whether or not they could worship in a church with so many images in it. However, they assured me that was not a problem with them and we discovered a shared story in that of Jibreel and Myriam (which is painted on the wall and known as Gabriel and Mary in St Mary’s). In the end, the mosque committee found somewhere else to use where they could all meet together – St Mary’s was difficult for them because the pews couldn’t be moved.

However, I willingly offered them space and would have been glad to welcome that community into church.

I was also pleased to invite a Muslim friend to read from the Qu’ran at our Carol service two years ago.

It was good to see St John’s Episcopal Church, Aberdeen offer the welcome to the Muslim community that they have done.

I see from newspaper reports that Isaac is now getting vile abuse written about this story via facebook.

Sometimes there doesn’t seem much to be proud of in the church. This story made me feel proud to be a Scottish Episcopalian. Isaac and that congregation deserve all our support and encouragement and love.

Peace and blessings be upon them.

And upon their new Muslim friends too.

Further Comment from Scottish Episcopal Bloggers:

From Kirstin Freeman –

From John Penman –

On Beauty from Chaos –

From Rosemary Hannah –


  1. Revd. Jason C. Boyd says

    Dear Kelvin…My own congregation have been through this process and it has not been easy. If you wish to hear our story and are able to connect up the Aberdeen congregation with it too, please Google “Courage, Conscience and Conviction” and listen to the audio version of our story by Peter Gamston. God bless…Jason

  2. Revd. Jason C. Boyd says

    Here is the url:

    By the way…I am a minister of a church that belongs to the Congregational Federation.

  3. Skyli says

    God is happy today, there’s a feast to prepare! Father Poobalan, I don’t have words to express my appreciation for your insight and humanity, for your understanding of Gods Will; I’ll have to let the hairs on the back of my neck speak for me. God bless you sir, God bless the Imam and God bless both your congregations.

  4. Christine Rowland says

    Marvellous what is being done , wish this was a world wide movement, the Church is it’s people not a building.

  5. Mohammed Hanslot says

    This is the real beauty of religion, excepting other peoples beliefs and sharing in times of stress, we all pray to one god. In times of corruption and greed, god will be happy at such an act of kindness.

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