Allah Invoked at Newcastle Cathedral

Allah invoked at Newcastle Cathedral

During a regular weekday service in Newcastle Cathedral, the name of Allah was invoked during the prayers of intercession. 

Choral Evensong from the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne on Wednesday 7th June was broadcast live on YouTube. During the service, prayer requests from visitors were read by the minister. One such request was read without modification: “A Muslim visitor prays for his son who has died: ‘May Allah protect your soul, and grant me passage to be with you in the afterlife.’”

Church of England guidelines state: “A building and any attached land which have been consecrated are said, in the deed of consecration, to be set apart for worship according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England forever.” 

It might be argued that ‘Allah’ here is doing duty for the name of God, in line with common usage by Arab Christians. However, with the announcement that the request came from a Muslim visitor, it can be argued that the context was thereby changed; ‘Allah’ here is not a reference to the Triune God, but the one whose prophet is Mohammed.

Article XVIII (‘Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ’) of the Church of England states: “Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.”