There was a time when Richard Fairclough would kneel to pray in Church. But today when the 57-year-old prays it is at the mosque, because he is one of scores of people in South Wales who have given up Christianity to become a Muslim.
Having taken the name Abdur Rahman he now helps others to make the same transition to Islam – whether it is coping with the negative reactions of others or simply finding shops selling halal food. Together with fellow “reverts” as they are called, he has set up the New Muslim Project Wales (NMPW), based on the UK-wide New Muslim Project, and is in the process of compiling a register of new Muslims across the country. So far he has found 78 in South Wales and believes there are many more out there in West, Mid and North Wales, who may be isolated and in need of guidance on everything from finding their nearest mosque to coping with possible hostility from their family and friends.