Located just south of Central London in the United Kingdom, Gatwick Airport has been in use since the late 1920s. Passenger numbers reached a peak of 46.6 million in 2019. At the time of the WuduMate project in 2013 there were already more than 34 million passengers passing through the airport on their way to over 190 destinations with more than 70 different airlines.
With a chaplaincy team in place since 1974 and a chapel opened two years later, Gatwick Chaplaincy has been serving tourists, business travellers and Gatwick Airport’s own staff for well over 35 years. Now very much a multi-faith chaplaincy, the move to provide inclusive facilities for practising one’s faith was spearheaded by Anglican chaplain Canon Jonathan Baldwin.
Through his many conversations with Muslim colleagues and chapel visitors over the years Canon Baldwin became aware of a need for suitable Wudu facilities.
A contractor was appointed to develop a new multi-faith area in the South Terminal and, with direction from the chaplaincy team, installed the WuduMate Classic to support the airport’s Muslim staff and visitors. The contractor found it was the most appropriate solution on the market – easy to install and no need to dig into the floor slab to accommodate a tile and cement trough. With the completion of this project, Gatwick airport was now clearly capable of welcoming and accommodating ever-increasing diversity in its passengers and personnel.
“The general feeling was that the Wudu facilities would be popular, but until Hajj, we didn’t really appreciate how much they were needed,” said Canon Baldwin.
Footfall into the chapel was much increased and a further multi-faith room was later opened in the North Terminal.