Bishop relates Passover to Christian story at seder feast in Newbury Park

Seder celebrations at Bet Tikvah Synagogue

Seder celebrations at Bet Tikvah Synagogue - Credit: Archant

A synagogue truly lived up to the spirit of its annual festival when it invited the Bishop of Barking and his wife to attend its Passover feast last week.

Rabbi David Hulbert of the Bet Tikvah synagogue in Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, welcomed the bishop as one of 75 guests at his congregation’s Seder feast.

He said: “Like the scripture says, ‘all who are hungry, come and eat,’ what better way to celebrate that than making the Bishop of Barking our guest of honour.”

The synagogue’s Passover celebrations lasted well into the night, and the rabbi was thrilled with the success of the celebration.

He said: “It was a fantastic evening that went on well into the night and everyone enjoyed it.”

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The Bishop of Barking, Rt Rev Peter Hill, was delighted to be invited, and complimented the synagogue on its good food and good conversation.

He said: “It was a privilege for my wife Ellen and I to be invited to the Seder, especially as it was my first time at a full Seder meal.

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“I found the whole experience invigorating, especially as the scriptures referred to alongside the meal were all very familiar to me, from the Old Testament.”

And the Bishop believed attending the service had provided him with a new perspective on his own faith.

“Being able to relate it to the Christian story was really powerful,” he said.

“And the hospitality was excellent as well.

“We were really encouraged to eat and really encouraged to participate.”

Across the borough, other Jewish communities came together to celebrate the festival by enjoying the ceremonial meal, marking the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Ancient Egypt.

Pupils at the Wohl Jewish Primary School, Forest Road, Barkingside, enjoyed fun, interactive Sedarim with their parents and grandparents also invited to attend.

Organised by the school’s Jewish Department, the ceremonial dinners were led by Rabbis from the neighbourhood’s synagogues, who explained step-by-step the ritual significance of each part of the meal to the children.

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