Chatham Memorial Synagogue was built in 1869 by Simon Magnus, in memory of his son Lazarus, on the site of an even older Synagogue. The synagogue is the home of the Jewish community in mid and north Kent and is actually located in historic Rochester on the River Medway, about 35 miles south-east of London and only 35 minutes by high speed train from St Pancras (45 minutes from Victoria).
Rochester, the home of the author Charles Dickens, is a popular tourist destination. For further information about Rochester, please visit our Historic Rochester page.
About our community
Chatham Memorial Synagogue is an independent traditional synagogue, which means that we are not affiliated to any major religious body. All of our services are run on traditional lines by lay members of the community who between them have many years of liturgical experience. Although we are a small community with limited financial resources, we hold regular services for Shabbat and festivals as well as social and cultural events. Please visit our Services page or our This Month page for further details.
In 2001, we had a serious look at how best to secure the future of our community into the 21st century, and so continue to practice our religion in our beautiful Synagogue. This process was called “The Way Forward” and details appear on a separate page.
We are always pleased to welcome visitors and their families to the area as well as new and prospective members. Please contact us for further details.
As a community we are conscious of our responsibilities in the field of education both within the Jewish Community and the wider community. We regularly host visits by groups of local school children as well as assisting religious education students at local universities and colleges of education.
We have warm and friendly links with the other Jewish Communities in Kent through a network called Jewish Kent.
The community is also involved in Inter-Faith matters and works closely with Medway council, Rochester Cathedral, Medway Inter-Faith Action Forum and the Medway Youth Parliament in organising annual commemorative events in Medway for Holocaust Memorial Day.
A group of children from the community singing Adon Olam at a Shabbat service in 2014.