Storm Doris almost tore the roof off Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue on Thursday, with gale force winds causing havoc and causing the evacuation of 90 children from the building.

As high winds loosened metal strips on the roof, police closed the roads leading to the shul, as youngsters temporarily using the Croxdale Road synagogue as a nursery were led to safety by staff, as firefighters assessed the damage.

A spokesman for the United Synagogue said: “Our first concern is for the health and safety of all those who were present and we are thankful that nobody has been injured at BES following the damage caused by the storm.”

He added: “We are extremely grateful to the emergency services for their support. Over the next couple of days, we will do everything we can to ensure community activity can continue, whilst ensuring the safety of the community and its neighbours.”

The shul is home to one of the country’s biggest congregations, and the synagogue’s lay leaders quickly made provision to move this evening’s Ma’ariv service to Ohr Yisrael Federation Synagogue on Theobald Street.