Catford & Bromley Midnight Choral Selichot Service
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Thursday 26th September 2019

Catford & Bromley United Synagogue hosted the first midnight choral selichot service in the community's history organised by its Minister The Rev Cantor David Rome, a leading Cantor in the UK. The synagogue was filled to capacity with hundreds of attendees including some of the most senior dignitaries in the country. Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for Mayor for London, spoke movingly about Holocaust education and the Jewish new year. The Labour Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, also addressed the congregation.

The selichot service was led by Cantor David Rome and Cantor Henry Black accompanied by the London Cantorial Singers choir with boy soloist Rafi Sandford who sung exquisitely. The service included contributions by Rabbanim from all over South London, and a young member of the community Anabelle Simmonds gave a moving Dvar Torah prior to the service with the main religious address delivered by Richmond Synagogue’s Rabbi Meir Shindler.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a message to Cantor Rome conveying his regret that he could not attend and sending his warmest wishes for a successful and soul-stirring evening. Rev Rome also read out another lovely personal message from Lord Norman Tebbit who wished the members of the community and the other well wishers present happiness and prosperity in the year to come. He said: he is always aware of the contribution to science, the arts and commerce made in the United Kingdom by members of the Jewish Community. The service finished with a vote of thanks from the Synagogue Chairman Joe Burchell.

By Joe Burchell