Message from Nermin Turley, Faith Liaison Officer:
Places of Worship are part of the series of businesses and premises must remain closed.
Whilst we cannot give direction or permission for a person(s) to enter a religious venue for one or more of the reasons being asked, we must strongly reiterate the government’s advice about the only reason such a place should be open and who is permitted to attend.
- Funerals, where the congregation is immediate family (with provision for a carer, if required) or a friend - in the case that no family members are attending. A distance of 2 metres is to be maintained between every household group, as per Public Health England guidelines.
- A minister of religion, to go to their place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.
- For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public service*, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.
*For public services the guidelines state the cooking facility at religious venues can only remain open and operational in the capacity of a food bank service. This would require food to be prepared by only 1 or 2 persons at the venue and distributed into the Community by volunteers who would NOT enter the venue, but collect the parcels and provide them free of charge to the homeless, elderly and vulnerable who depend on this public service. All persons involved in this must adhere to the social distancing rule of two metres.
Please ensure that, and members of your community all follow the government’s guidelines strictly and ensure that there is no consumption of food anywhere within the religious venue as this is prohibited.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in the community at this time, it is essential especially for the homeless, elderly and vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes. Please know we are here to support you, if we all follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the Government we will get through this together.