Religious Buildings: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what financial support will be available for places of worship that have been adversely affected by the covid-19 outbreak to (a) continue their pastoral support in communities, (b) recover loss of income from rented spaces and (c) safely reopen.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Faith communities have a long history of service supporting many of the most vulnerable members of our society. The rapid response during the current pandemic has been no different and the government values the work being done to support those in need.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government play a facilitative role in ensuring government understands the needs of faith communities and the challenges they may be currently facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to work closely with a range of faith groups to understand how government can support them in light of the pressures they face at this time.

Faith organisations can access a range of government-backed financial support measures. Places of worship may be eligible for payment under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. Local authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund and may choose to make payments to organisations based on local economic need, subject to meeting the specific eligibility criteria.

The Government has also announced a range of funds available to charities, including the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to support organisations providing essential services for vulnerable people affected by the current crisis.

Further information about the range of financial support available and how to apply can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Government is also considering what else is needed to ensure that families and friends of those deceased get the support they need - particularly during this very difficult time. We are committed to ongoing engagement with the bereavement support sector and will continue to work closely to assess how we can support charities in doing their important work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of 4 July, places of worship are open for communal worship with social distancing in place.  We are pleased to be able to allow weddings and other life cycle events to also now take place. We have published guidance detailing how this can be done safely which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.