West London Synagogue will be open for more wedding business after securing a licence to perform civil marriages in its Stern Hall.
Synagogue sanctuaries can legally only be used to consecrate religious marriages and rabbis can only wed two Jews. But now the hall can be used for civil ceremonies for secular couples, or people of other faiths. It can also be used for interfaith unions between Jews and non-Jews, whether heterosexual or gay and lesbian, who can now get civilly wed in the hall and then go to the sanctuary for a religious blessing if they wish.
First to take advantage of the new licence will be West London Rabbi Baroness Neuberger’s daughter Harriet, who will be marrying her girlfriend on Sunday.