Covid-19: Churches and Places of Worship - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:29 pm on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative 12:29 pm, 9th July 2020

My Lords, churches and places of worship are not simply where we go to pray. They bring the joy of music, support tourism, offer significant community provision and, importantly, are custodians of our heritage. All are essentially self- funding and require a sustainable income, which has simply evaporated as a result of lockdown, leaving many in extreme difficulty. Does my noble friend the Minister agree that ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of our churches should be a strategic priority of the Government? Does he also agree that it is folly to extend the congestion charge in London to Sundays and evenings, placing an intolerable price tag on worship for many who want to attend church services in London on a Sunday, or a concert in the evening, and making a desperate financial situation even worse?