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The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked

– in the House of Commons on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Miriam Cates Miriam Cates Conservative, Penistone and Stocksbridge

What steps the Church of England is taking to support family life during the covid-19 lockdown.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

With no access to our church buildings, considerable innovation by the clergy has seen the creation of virtual prayer services, school assemblies, study groups, fellowship meetings and craft workshops. That is in addition to online church services, bereavement counselling, marriage preparation and marriage support.

Photo of Miriam Cates Miriam Cates Conservative, Penistone and Stocksbridge

In normal times, churches engage with thousands of parents and children each week through playgroups, coffee mornings, church services and youth groups, providing support to families across all sections of society. In my constituency, groups such as these have been a lifeline to many families, including my own. During this crisis, what steps are churches taking to remain in contact with these families, particularly to support parents as they continue to raise children in very difficult circumstances?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I am so pleased to hear how the work of the church benefits my hon. Friend’s family and the families of many of her Penistone and Stocksbridge constituents. I also recommend that families check out the Faith at Home video resources of the Church of England, which nurture a growing faith and this month focus on hope, courage, love and humility—all qualities that we need at work and in the community, as well as at home.