Rev Giles Goddard opened his church’s doors for the Inclusive Mosque Initiative and invited the congregation of Muslims to give thanks to ‘the God that we love, Allah’.

He originally described the event as ‘very moving’ but later admitted it had given rise to ‘great consternation’.

In a statement posted on the church’s website, Rev Goddard said: ‘I am sorry for the offence caused and any infringement of Church of England’s framework and guidelines.’

The Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun said: ‘Whilst it is very important to build good interfaith relations, it is clear that an act of worship from a non-Christian faith tradition is not permitted within a consecrated Church of England building’.