A vicar who held a Muslim prayer service in his London church has apologised “for the offence caused”.
Revd Canon Giles Goddard held an “Inclusive Mosque” event at St John’s Church, Waterloo, earlier this month.
It included the traditional Islamic call to prayer and saw Revd Goddard giving thanks to “the God that we love, Allah”.
However, the Bishop of Southwark has now confirmed that “an act of worship from a non-Christian faith tradition is not permitted within a consecrated Church of England building”.
The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun said Revd Goddard had pledged to work within the Church of England procedures in the future.
In his own statement Revd Goddard stated: “I am, by faith and tradition, a Christian”.
He added that he was seeking to “build a better understanding between faiths” and would continue to do so – but within the teachings and guidelines of the Church of England.
When the event was first reported evangelical C of E ministers spoke out against the service.
Revd Robin Weekes, minister of Emmanuel Wimbledon, said, “it is offensive to Christians who believe that there is only one God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“And it is especially offensive to those who are being persecuted around the world for their faith in the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.”