THE Muslim community of Monmouthshire can now practice their faith at an Abergavenny venue in what has been hailed a significant milestone.

The venue, located in St Michael's Community Centre, means Muslim residents will be able to perform the Friday congregational prayer without having to travel outside Monmouthshire to places such as Newport and Cardiff.

Monmouthshire County Council say the move is a step forward in recognising and celebrating the diverse communities in Monmouthshire.

The first service was held on Friday, October 8, with approximately 20 people attending.

Local members are now seeking to create and develop an official community group, the first group of its kind in Monmouthshire.

With a suggested name of Monmouthshire Muslim Community Association, they hope to cater for the needs of the growing Muslim population in the county.

Examples of projects suggested include:

  • Education - Faith open days for all communities, children & adult Arabic classes, exchange of good practice trips
  • Culture and religion - Eid card workshops, experience breaking fast during Ramadan, henna art, Muslim festivals
  • Health and wellbeing – women’s yoga, mental health workshop, health checks, cultural cooking workshops
  • Outdoor activities – day trips to experience welsh heritage, men’s fishing, walking groups

The local Syrian community will also be part of this project.

Monmouthshire is welcoming Afghan refugees too and it is hoped the new group will be able to connect those families who settle in the county.

It will also form an important support group, not only for the existing community members, but also for any Muslim visitors or residents looking to visit or move to Monmouthshire.

Cabinet member for community wellbeing and social justice, Cllr Lisa Dymock, said: “Celebrating the diversity we have in Monmouthshire is extremely important and ensuring different communities can have the facilities and support they need to practice their faith or cultures in our county.

"I would like to thank Monmouthshire colleagues as well as partner organisations who have all worked tirelessly to make this happen.

"I am delighted this work will also focus on supporting Syrian and Afghan refugees who as we know have faced some of the most challenging circumstances any person can endure.”

For more information about the new facility or the Monmouthshire Muslim Community Association, please contact