Birmingham Central Synagogue - Culture, history and faith

Birmingham Central Synagogue has been on Speedwell Road in Edgbaston since the redevelopment of the Malcolm Locker Hall in 2013. Previously their old building was metres away on Pershore Road.


Where is Birmingham Central Synagogue?

Birmingham Central Synagogue is now at 4 Speedwell Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7PR. Now members of the United Synagogue since January 2017.

 

In brief

An Orthodox Jewish community based in Edgbaston, downsized from there previous synagogue at almost the same site from the 1960s until the 2010s. Now also a community centre and deli.

Birmingham Central SynagogueBirmingham Central Synagogue on Speedwell Road, Edgbaston (December 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Central Synagogue - history

The community was originally founded at a private house on Belgrave Road in 1883. They moved to Wrottesley Street in 1900 and then to Bristol Street in 1928.

In the late 1950s, a small plot of land at 133 Pershore Road was purchased from Calthorpe Estates. This was built from 1958 until 1961. This was the main Birmingham Central Synagogue for the rest of the 20th Century. The site also included the Malcolm Locker Hall, and a small house for visitors to stay in (plus a car park).

Birmingham Central SynagogueBirmingham Central Synagogue from Speedwell Road, Edgbaston (November 2008). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Central SynagogueBirmingham Central Synagogue from the Pershore Road, Edgbaston (June 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

But over the years, as members of the community moved to London, Manchester, Israel (or elsewhere), the community got smaller. Maintenance of such a large building was costly, and plans to merge with Singers Hill Synagogue fell through. The community voted to sell the Pershore Road site in 2010, but had to wait a few years for permission from Birmingham City Council and the Calthorpe Estates. Redevelopment of the Malcolm Locker Hall into the new shul began in January 2013 and was opened by August 2013. Demolition of the old building started shortly after that. It would be replaced by Gracewell of Edgbaston (a care home).

Birmingham Central SynagogueLast service at the old Birmingham Central Synagogue before moving to the new building (August 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The new building is at 4 Speedwell Road. The new Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis consecrated the new building during October 2013. It is more than just a shul, it is also a community centre, and there is a deli. There is a large room for functions (about half the size of the old one the Malcolm Locker Hall had on the same site). Some take place in the foyer. Upstairs is the smaller shul for the minians (morning, afternoon and evening weekday services), as well as the Rabbi's office and the deli. During the pandemic, community events went onto Zoom. Although services have returned, when restrictions were eased (but less congregants in masks).

Birmingham Central Synagogue

Birmingham Central Synagogue

Birmingham Central Synagogue

Birmingham Central SynagogueBirmingham Central Synagogue on Speedwell Road, Edgbaston (November 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

 

Contact details

Birmingham Central Synagogue

4 Speedwell Road

Edgbaston

Birmingham

B5 7PR

0121 440 4044

info@centralshul.com

 

Project dates

31 May 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Modern Architecture, Classic Architecture
Faith

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com