In the shadow of the glass and steel skyscrapers of London’s Square Mile, hundreds of Muslims kneel in the street for Friday prayers.
Yesterday’s hour-long service a stone's throw from the heart of the financial district proved so popular that worshippers filled the streets around the tiny community mosque.
City workers in pinstripe suits mixed with Muslims from the local Bangladeshi community, cramming into the streets beside a Bentley and other parked cars.
Filling the street: Beneath a towering office block the shoeless worshippers bow down. The Brune Street mosque, in Spitalfields, East London, is the nearest mosque for Friday prayers for many City workers
The Brune Street mosque, in Spitalfields, East London, is the nearest mosque for Friday prayers for many City workers and others from Brick Lane and Whitechapel.
It is a one-room community mosque with a maximum capacity of 100, so when some 300 turn up for Friday midday prayers locals have become accustomed to seeing worshippers kneeling in the surrounding streets, all facing Mecca.
One worshipper said: ‘It’s grown and grown in recent years. It started off as just one room in the mosque, but now people come from all over the City and there just isn’t the room for them in the building.
In prayer: City workers in pinstripe suits join local residents outside the mosque cramming into the streets beside a Bentley and other parked cars
‘You get the whole community, everyone from City boys to people from the local area. It’s great being outside on a day like today, but it’s not so much fun when it rains.
‘Some people are surprised when they come into the area on a Friday – seeing that many people praying outside together is not an everyday sight in the UK.
‘You wouldn’t know unless you were looking for it, but it’s right in the middle of the City.’