Luton Liberals to seek new home

By Jay Grenby, July 16, 2009

The small Bedfordshire market town of Ampthill, though home to a well-known firm of wholesale kosher butchers, is not otherwise known as a hub of Jewish activity. But all that could change should Ampthill, as suggested, become the location for the permanent premises of the Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue.

In a bid to establish the viability of the proposal, the congregation, Rodef Shalom, is to hold its first-ever Friday night service in the town tonight.Originally founded in 1967 as the Beds-Herts Liberal Jewish Synagogue, the community gradually shifted its focus, and since 1982, has been based in Luton, where most of its Friday night services are currently held, with Shabbat morning services being held every other week in Bedford. Its 50 member families, who come from as far afield as Hemel Hempstead and Northampton, were surveyed to discover at which central location they would find it most convenient to attend services.

“The majority pin-pointed Ampthill, so we are going to see whether we get better attendance there than at other venues,” reports Hilary Fox, the community’s honorary secretary.

Last updated: 10:22am, July 16 2009