Chelmsford Jewish Community

Chelmsford, Essex




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Town of Chelmsford

Chelmsford, the county town of Essex, is situated about 35 miles northeast of London.  The present administration was formed in 1974, when the municipal borough of Chelmsford merged with the surrounding Chelmsford Rural District to form the local government district (later borough) of Chelmsford, within the administrative county of Essex.

Chelmsford Jewish Community

Only one Jewish congregation, known as the Chelmsford Jewish Community, exists in Chelmsford, although there was an abortive attempt to establish a formal reform congregation.

Congregation Data


Chelmsford Jewish Community


Services held in Central Chelmsford

Former Addresses:

The congregation previously held services at a number of venues, including:
Merlin House, 23 Parker Street, Chelmsford CM2 0ES(ii)
11 Haig Street, Chelmsford, CH2 0BH(iii)
and Springfield Lyon House, Springfield Lyon Approach, Chelmsford CM2 5LB(iv)

Current Status:


Date Founded:



The congregation is not orthodox but was established "to provide for local Jewish people of all shades of religious observance and background."(vi)


Unaffiliated, although the congregation was founded under the sponsorship of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (now the Movement for Reform Judaism).(vii)


None listed



Abortive Rival Congregation:

There was an attempt to establish a formal reform congregation, the Chelmsford Reform Synagogue Group, which collapsed and ended in disarray

Membership Data:

National Reports and Surveys:(x)

1977 - 50 male (or household) members and estimated 50 female members

1983 - 32 male (or household) members and estimated 39 female members

1990 - 58 members (comprising 54 households and 4 individual male members)

1996 - 69 members (comprising 40 households, 4 individual male and 25 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)


2019 - 60 plus families(xi)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 281498), registered on 6 February 1981. The governing document is the congregation's constitution, as amended 12 December 1978 and 15 October 1980.(xii)

Registration District:

Essex (since 1 February 2010)(xiii) - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Information:

Chelmsford does not have its own Jewish cemetery. The Congregation has a Burial Scheme in association with the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), under whose auspices burials take place at the Western Cemetery, Bulls Cross Ride, Waltham Cross. Funerals also now include woodland and lawn burials. In addition to these facilities, the JJBS offers cremation at Hoop Lane Crematorium, Golders Green.(xiv)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Jewish Year Books 1996 and 2001 through 2009

  • (iii) Jewish Year Books 2010 through 2015

  • (iv) Jewish Year Books 1998 through 2000

  • (v) Congregation's website, accessed 14 August 2019.

  • (vi) The Jewish Chronicle 29 August 1975, page 6.

  • (vii) Congregation's website, accessed 14 August 2019.

  • (viii) and (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (xi) Congregation's website, accessed 14 August 2019.

  • (xii) Charity Commission website, accessed November 2023. Clicking the charity number will take you to the charity's registration on the website.

  • (xiii) The former Registration District was Chelmsford from 1 July 1837 to 1 February 2010. Any registers would now be held by current register office.

  • (xiv) Congregation's website, accessed 14 August 2019.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Chelmsford include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Chelmsford during the 1800s (2 records), 1810s (6 records); 1820s (6 records), 1830s (7 records), 1840s (10 records), 1850s (19 records), 1860s (4 records), 1880s (3 records) and 1890s (2 records).


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Chelmsford Jewish Community



Chelmsford Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 2000)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)

Jewish Congregations in Essex

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 30 November 2005
Page enhanced and notes added: 15 August 2019
most recently amended: 1 December 2023

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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