Norwich is home to one of the longest-standing British Muslim communities in the UK - and a new photographic exhibition captures the vibrancy of their lives.

The stunning pictures which Khalil Mitchell has taken of his community, which meets at the Ihsan Mosque in Chapelfield East, go on show in the city next week.

The exhibition Muslims: Norwich opens at The Museum of Norwich in Bridewell Alley on Tuesday, and will then be displayed in three of Norfolk's libraries.

Eastern Daily Press: Portrait of a womanPortrait of a woman (Image: Khalil Mitchell)

The photographs chronicle life at the Mosque during and after the coronavirus pandemic - a period when members created a soup kitchen during Ramadan, delivering to self-isolating households.

The community also supported small businesses by establishing the Norwich Free Market, to help people recover from the effects of lockdown.

Eastern Daily Press: Portrait of a manPortrait of a man (Image: Khalil Mitchell)

Mr Mitchell's photographs also capture occasions such as outdoor worship and a socially distanced visit to Mousehold Heath to watch the moonrise.

Eastern Daily Press: MoonsightingMoonsighting (Image: Khalil Mitchell)

Mr Mitchell, who became a Muslim 22 years ago, said: "People do not know we are here half of the time. We don’t look like the typical Muslims.

"With my work, I hope it is possible that people’s hearts can be moved through photography.

"From the start of my time here I recognised the unique nature of what was happening.

"With the rise of social media, I felt the need to share photographs of those around me, community members who were imparting their respective knowledges and understandings with me.

Eastern Daily Press: Photographer Khalil MitchellPhotographer Khalil Mitchell (Image: Peter Sanders)

"I began taking photographs, initially through cameras on whichever mobile phone I was using and later with my first DSLR, a Fujifilm X100s.

"With every photograph I have taken since, I have always hoped it was going to be the ultimate photograph to show people Muslims and Islam.

"The aspect of Muslim life that I hope I have encapsulated in my photos is that something bigger exists, that there is a means to connect with that bigger thing."

The exhibition will move to Earlham Library on July 2, Wymondham Library on September 9 and North Walsham Library on September 25.

It has been put together in partnership with Mr Mitchell, Norfolk Library and Information Service and Norfolk Museums Service, with funding from the Norwich Freemen’s Charity.

The origins of Norwich's Muslim community

The foundations of the Norwich Muslim Community were established by a small group of men and women who, driven by the experimental lifestyles of the 1960s and 1970s, travelled to Morocco, discovered Islam and embraced it by becoming Muslim.

As London was the hub of counterculture activity at the time, the group initially based themselves in the capital.

But, seeking a connection with a more natural way of life, in 1976 they moved away and, after initially attempting to create a Muslim village in the Norfolk countryside, settled in Norwich.

Eastern Daily Press: The Ihsan Mosque in Chapelfield East, NorwichThe Ihsan Mosque in Chapelfield East, Norwich (Image: Antony Kelly)

Twenty years later, in the early nineties, the community were joined by several groups of British Caribbean families from South London who, like the Muslims already living there, had converted to Islam. They, too, migrated to Norwich.

Now, in the 2020s, the founding families are now in their third generation.

Having been joined by many other Muslims from all walks of life, the community who attend Ihsan Mosque now numbers several hundred.