Sudbury United church transforms into mosque

A Sudbury church is set to close this month, and then re-open as the city's second mosque.

Growing Muslim faith community in Sudbury to use soon-to-be-closed St. Paul's United church

The final service at St. Paul's United Church in Sudbury will be held at the end of October. The church will be transformed into a mosque soon afterwards. (Erik White/CBC)

A Sudbury church is set to close this month, and then re-open as the city's second mosque.

The president of the Northern Muslim Association said St. Paul's United Church won't need much work to become a mosque.

St. Paul's United minister Stewart Walker and Northern Muslim Association president Aboubacar Sambo. A deal has been struck to sell the United church building to the Northern Muslim Association. (Erik White/CBC)
"It's a big wide open space,” AboubacarSambo said. “All we need basically are clean carpets."

The association currently sees 120 people at Friday prayers in a tiny room in the south end — that's in addition to the mosque in New Sudbury, which Sambo said is often crowded.

"The Muslim population is just growing and there is a need of having another place of worship,” he said.

"Because of the university there [are] a lot of Muslim families settling within the south-west part of the city, so that creates a good balance."

St. Paul's United in Sudbury’s west end once needed to hold two services a day, but now only has about 30 parishioners.

Reverend Stewart Walker said it's sad to see the end of the church, but he is thrilled it will continue as a place of worship.

"God will continue to be praised here,” he said. “It's going to be a place where lives will continue to be touched and transformed and I think that's a wonderful thing."

The final service at St. Paul's will be held at the end of this month. Then, after the building sale closes in November, it will begin its new life as a mosque.


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