Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation is a small community in the Orthodox tradition.
Its home is in a beautiful Regency Synagogue in the centre of the town.
Cheltenham SynagogueThe Synagogue is independent, with members drawn from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and beyond. We have a programme of activities that goes beyond our regular services, with educational and social activities throughout the year.
Many of our activities are open to non members – whether living in the area or planning to visit.
St James’s Square
Gloucestershire had a thriving Jewish presence in the Middles Ages, however the current community dates back to the early 1800s, which saw a modest increase in Jewish families moving into the booming spa town of Cheltenham. In 1823 they established the Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation and in 1824, land was purchased in Elm Street for a cemetery; this is still in use.
In 1837, a young local architect, William Hill Knight, was commissioned to design and build a Synagogue which was consecrated on 14th May 1839. Knight then went on to create Montpellier Walk as a shopping precinct with caryatids. The synagogue furniture, the pews, bimah and the Ark, was given to the Congregation by the New Synagogue in Leadenhall Street, London which was being dismantled before being rebuilt and enlarged. Dating from 1761, it is thus the oldest Ashkenazi furniture in Great Britain.