Welcome to the Shul by the Sea!

Message from the President of SWHC.

I’m honoured to welcome you on behalf of the community of Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation.  We’re a vibrant community comprising of over 550 families and would love you to join us!

We tease family and friends in London saying that to travel from London to Southend is twice the distance from Southend to London!  They do not realise how easy it is for us to get to London.  It takes about an hour to get to NW London by road.  Our excellent train service only takes forty five minutes from Westcliff into Fenchurch Street station (which is about the same time that commuters need to reach the City from NW London).

But surely you say, Westcliff is a bit of back water?  Hardly!  There are numerous excellent shops and major stores around the town, and Bluewater and Lakeside are close by.  We have our own Kosher Butcher, Baker and Deli within the complex. As of 2020 the Westcliff Eruv covers our Shul and the surrounding area.  There are four (two for girls and two for boys) grammar schools in Southend and Westcliff which are among the top publically funded schools in the country.

The Palace Theatre and the Cliffs Pavilion stage major West End Shows and host national and international stars.

Most important of all, the price of housing is really a fraction of what it costs in London.  A visit to a local estate agent will tell you that a four bed detached house will cost less than half of its NW London equivalent.

As a Congregation, we are quite self sufficient, we have our own Cheder, Youth Club and weekly Shabbat Children’s Service.  We have a multitude of communal activities for all ages, and many charity and social committees.  The Congregation has a Minyan each morning and evening.  Over the High Holydays we have additional services and discussion groups for the whole community.  Our Community Voice magazine is of a very high standard and has won national prizes awarded by the Board of Deputies.  Each night of Chanukah, we publically light our communal Menorah outside the Cliffs Pavilion, and are fortified throughout this event with doughnuts!

Our newly expanded Shul Shop, Your Shop at the Shul provides members and visitors with all the kosher supplies and judaica needed.  Our Mikveh which was completely refurbished in 2013 is modern and up to date and was opened by the new Chief Rabbi.

Please take a moment to look at the information on this website, especially the Local Jewish Groups page telling you about all the regular activities and clubs, and the weekly Newsletter that has up to date information about what’s going on.


Michael Nelkin
President of SWHC