Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation welcomed the Chief Rabbi on Sunday, albeit in an unanticipated way.
Although heavy snow prevented Ephraim Mirvis from travelling to the Essex coast for lunch with 120 congregants, he was able to address guests through a Skype link-up.
In an apposite anecdote, he recalled praying alone at the Kotel in 1980 on a snowy and bitterly cold day.
“I prayed from the depths of my heart. Suddenly I saw somebody coming towards me and I knew I could pass the baton onto someone else.” It was the same with Southend and Westcliff, which had successfully stayed on track from generation to generation.
Rabbi Mirvis described Southend as an outstanding community which was benefiting from an influx of Charedim to the area.
Local MP Sir David Amess spoke about the rejuvenation of Southend and his support for the Jewish community and Israel.
The congregation now hopes to set a new date for a visit from Rabbi Mirvis.