Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Nisan 23, 5774

Church Finds Sanctuary at a Shul

July 5, 2012
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St. Peter's Church, a historic Old City Episcopalian congregation that celebrated its 250th anniversary last year, is currently holding services at Society Hill Synagogue.

Church leaders had long known that the building's roof would need replacement but when structural engineers discovered that the support beams were also compromised, they made the decision to exit the building temporarily.

After hearing of the situation, leaders at Society Hill offered use of its own space and St. Peter's held its first service there on June 2. They are expected to be there every Sunday until Sept. 2.

"The space is ideal for us," said the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin. "Their staff has been just the height of graciousness and hospitality."

Laughlin noted that he's gotten a few strange looks standing outside the synagogue on Sunday mornings before services in his ritual vestments. The church decided to put up a temporary board on the sidewalk explaining why they are there.

Society Hill Cantor Bob Freedman, who is also an ordained rabbi, is expected to attend services on July 8 and offer an introduction to the Episcopal congregation on some of the synagogue's customs.

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