Closing time at Hounslow synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2008

Sixty years of West London history were recalled on Sunday as 150 past and current members attended a valedictory service at Hounslow, Heathrow and District Synagogue. The service was led by Reverend Alan Greenbat, who had served the congregation as visiting minister.

At one time, the shul ran a cheder, youth club and study group. But membership numbers dwindled, making it difficult to attract regular minyanim. Yomtov services have not been held at the shul in Staines Road, Hounslow, for the past two years.

Hounslow administrator Louis Gilbert said the remaining 40 members would transfer to the Staines, Ealing, Richmond or Ruislip US congregations.

“The building used to be a church before we moved here in 1948,” he explained. “It needs renovating because the roof is not in a good condition and it’s obviously a very old building. But once you are inside it’s very pleasant.

“It’s a bit sad after 60 years to see it go, especially when I think of how it was once thriving, but this was inevitable.

“Our last significant event here was two years ago for the 350th anniversary of the readmission of Jews to Britain.”

The United Synagogue will look for a buyer for the premises.

Last updated: 10:17am, December 11 2008