Church wants to buy Welsh synagogue

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 23, 2008

Swansea Hebrew Congregation is selling its 67-year-old synagogue building to a church group.

The community has less than a dozen-and-a-half active members with an average age of 70. Others have moved away but retain membership for burial or sentimental reasons.

If the sale to the LifePoint Church is completed, the congregation will be able to rent a small hall in the premises to continue services.

“It is the end of an era. But it’s not as though we are closing the door on the shul,” said local-born community member Norma Glass. “Like everybody else, I am sad that it has come to this, but we are efficiently ensuring continuity. We shall have our home and it’s still the same address. The important thing is that we are going to carry on.”

Trustee David Factor said congregants were “trying to stay positive. I think we will survive in the short term.”

Swansea Hebrew Congregation dates back to 1730. The shul was originally constructed in Goat Street in 1780 and rebuilt in 1859. Destroyed in a German air raid during the war, it relocated in 1941 to its current Ffynone Street location.

Last updated: 5:09pm, October 13 2009