Drift to Hale forces sale of Didsbury shul

Shaare Hayim, the Sephardi Congregation of South Manchester, is to sell one of its two sites to raise funds for a new building.

The decision has been made in response to demographic changes within the community, said a spokesman.

At an emergency meeting, members voted to sell the smaller of the two synagogues Sha’are Sedek, in Landesdown Road in West Didsbury, South Manchester, and to use the proceeds towards the building of a sister synagogue seven miles away in Hale, North Cheshire, where about a third of its 700 members now live. The Queenston Road site is to be retained.

The Shaare Hayim Congregation was formed 10 years ago, following the amalgamation of two dwindling Sephardi congregations, located within a third of a mile of each other. Since the amalgamation, the congregation has alternated services between the two sites, explained the spokesman.

Synagogue council chairman Anthony Sultan said: “The proceeds of the sale will enable us to cater for the many families that have now moved to Hale. We have been successfully running a Sephardi minyan in the Hale area for more than five years and members now believe that it is time to build a synagogue there.”

He added: “We still have a significant number of members in Didsbury and we will retain a presence there for as long as members wish to pray there.”

    Last updated: 3:59pm, July 3 2009