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Covid-19: Support for Vulnerable People

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 21 January 2021

What assessment the Church of England has made of the effectiveness of partnerships between local authorities and faith groups in providing support to vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak. (911079)

I am delighted that Lichfield, Rochester, Blackburn and Salisbury cathedrals are among the church buildings being used as vaccination centres. As well as providing worship, prayer and community support, parishes have been providing food, medicine delivery, bereavement counselling and much more, serving the needs of everyone in their local communities.

The “Keeping the Faith” report in November showed the remarkable extent to which local councils have turned to churches and other faith groups during the pandemic, especially for help in distributing food, and how positive an experience for councils this has proved to be. Will the Church of England urge Ministers to help these new partnerships with local councils continue beyond the pandemic?

Yes indeed, and I warmly commend the all-party group on faith and society for its research, as well as the Kruger review. I look forward to Colin Bloom’s report, commissioned by the Government, which assesses faith community engagement. I hope it will build on my right hon. Friend’s important and very welcome all-party group research.