Manchester Great New and Central Synagogue

Salford, Greater Manchester




Page created: 20 August 2007
Latest Update or revision: 7 May 2017

Congregation Data


Manchester Great New and Central Synagogue
(also known as Stenecourt Synagogue)
since September 2008.

Former Names

Manchester Great and New Synagogue
(or Great and New Synagogue, Manchester)
This was the name of the congregation from 27 December 1964 until the incorporation of the Central & North Manchester Synagogue in September 2008.

Manchester Old Hebrew Congregation:

(a) generally known as the Great Synagogue(i) from 1857 until the amalgamation with the New Synagogue & Beth Hamedrash on 27 December 1964.

(b) also referred to as the Hilliwell Street Congregation from 1825 until 1857, which from 1851 was also referred to as the Manchester United Synagogue (as a result of the reunification of the congregation with a breakaway congregation - see below)

(c) also known as the Ainsworth Court Congregation from 1806 until 1824

For earlier congregations, see Manchester's First Synagogues


"Stenecourt", Holden Road (corner 30 Singleton Road), Broughton Park, Salford, M7 4LN (also includes a Community Centre)

(The congregation is frequently referred to as the Stenecourt Synagogue)

Initially, a branch synagogue of the Great Synagogue from 1938. It was rebuilt in 1953 and in 1997/8, and became the sole synagogue building of the "Great & New" in mid 1970's.

(The congregation is considered part of the "North Manchester" Jewish community.)

Former Addresses

140 Cheetham Hill Road (corner Knowsley Street), Manchester M8
Built in 1857-8 (consecrated 11 March 1858) and in use from 1857 until mid 1970s. Following its closure, the building initially became a Jewish History Museum, but, despite being scheduled as a Listed II building in 1951, it was demolished in 1986.

Hilliwell Street,  Long Millgate, Manchester M3 (1825 to 1857).

Ainsworth Court, Long Millgate, Manchester M3 (1806 to 1824)

Breakaway Congregation:

The short-lived Manchester New Hebrew Congregation or Manchester New Synagogue (also known as the Miller's Lane Congregation and the Ainsworth Court Synagogue)
This was apparently the first breakaway congregation in Manchester, made of former congregants of the congregation in Hilliwell Street, and existed from 1843 until reunfication in 1851. It was variously shown as being being situated at Miller's Lane, Manchester, or Ainsworth Court, Long Millgate, Manchester M3 (being the premises previously occupied by the Halliwell Street Congregation)

Date Formed:


Current Status:



Ashkenazi Orthodox




Rabbi Benjamin Simmonds - from 2014 to present (February 2017) (Assistant Minister 2001 to 2014))

Membership Data:

Based upon the results of the Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire of 1845, the Halliwell Street Congregation had 38 ba'alai batim and 33 seatholders and the somewhat smaller Millers Lane or Ainsworth Court Congregation had 32 ba'alai batim and 19 seatholders.  

Based upon Census Of Worship of 1851 and ancillary returns,(ii) these two congregations (which were the only synagogues in Manchester in 1850) had a combined number of seatholders and membership of 189.  Average synagogue attendance in 1851 was 150 and 60, respectively (Halliwell Street having a capacity for 256 and Ainsworth Court, 80).

1896 - 477 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1896/97)

1905 - 496 members & seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1906)

1915 - 490 members & seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1916)

1919 - 320 members & seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1920)

Local Authority:

Broughtom Park is in Salford, in the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford, within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester (which no longer has any administrative powers).

From 1889 to 1974, Salford was a county borough (a unitary authority), geographically (although not administratively) within the county of Lancashire.

The earlier addresses of the Congregation were in county borough of Manchester, which became the metropolitan borough of the City of Manchester in 1974, within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.

Cemetery Information:

Prestwich Village Jews' Burial Ground, Bury New Road  M25 was shared between the Great Synagogue and the New Synagogue. It was generally in use from 1841 to 1884, although the last burial was in 1914.

The breakaway Manchester New Synagogue (see above) acquired the Collyhurst Jews' Burial Ground in 1844. It was used by that congregation until re-unification in 1851, thereafter being used by the Great Synagogue primarily for enfant burials until 1872, subsequently falling into total neglect.(iii)

For additional cemetery details, see Manchester Jewish Cemeteries Information on Manchester Jewish Community home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) See also Manchester Jewry - A Picture History 1788-1988 by Bill Williams (1988). pp. 5-7, 16, 52-54, 119, 122/123.

  • (ii) Social History of the Jews in England 1850-1950 by V.D. Lipman.

  • (iii) Jewish Heritage in England, An Arcitectural Guide by Sharman Kadish (2006) p. 150.


On-line Articles and Other Material relating to this Congregtion


  • Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire of 1845 - Congregational & Charitable Data and Educational Data

  • The conference paper on "Manchester" from Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain includes further information on this Congregation.

  • Congregation History which initially appeared on the Congregation's website

  • Manchester Bibliography, which includes:

    • History of the Manchester Great Synagogue - 1858-1958.

    • Other publications, including those referred to in the footnotes to above Congregation Data, which make reference to this congregation.


Congregational Records Records

At Manchester Register Office:

At Manchester Archives and Local Studies (ref: M139/1-4):
  • Minutes, 1935-1957;

  • Executive Committee minutes, 1902-1963, including reports on cemeteries;
    Executive and Finance Committee minutes, 1895-1941;

  • General and Committee minutes, 1840-1964;

  • Rough minutes and notes, 1932-1945;

  • Conferences of Synagogues, 1924-1927;

  • Minutes relating to proposed amalgamation with Higher Crumpsall, 1936;

  • Ledgers, 1825-1959; cash books, 1846-1956;

  • Seat rentals cash books, 1890-1933;

  • Cash book- butchers, 1878-1883;

  • Offerings 1873-1934;

  • Cash paying out books, 1881-1931;

  • Weekly balance sheets, 1911-1923;

  • Congregational General Fund Balance Sheets, yearly, 1869-1925;

  • half-yearly balance sheets, 1869- 1923;

  • Bank statements, 1931-1934;

  • Out-letter books, 1847-1951;

  • Letters received, 1836-1942;

  • In and Out letters, 1941-1961;

  • Building Committee records, 1856-1869;

  • Inauguration committee records, 1857-1860;

  • House Committee minutes, 1946-1968;

  • Baths accounts, 1922-1929;

  • Baths lease, 1898;

  • Plans, tenders and specifications, 1857-1934;

  • Insurance papers, 1869-1965;

  • Inventories, 1901-1932, 1940.

Greater Manchester Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in the City of Salford (metropolitan borough)

Jewish Congregations in the City of Manchester (metropolitan borough)

Street Directory of Jewish Congregations in Greater Manchester

Jewish Communities of England home page


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