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RELEASE: FaithAction asked to join Places of Worship Taskforce

Press Release
19/05/2020, for immediate release

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FaithAction asked to join Places of Worship Taskforce

FaithAction have been asked to join the Places of Worship Taskforce announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick last week (15 May 2020). Daniel Singleton, National Director of FaithAction, will sit on this taskforce alongside leaders and representatives from all the major faiths. Its goal will be to develop a plan to enable the phased and safe reopening of places of worship when the evidence shows it is the right time to do so.

In addition to their role on the taskforce, FaithAction have been asked to make use of their national network of faith-based and community organisations to gather additional input for government consideration on the challenges and priorities of different faith groups, and strengthen the capacity of faith-based organisations to respond to the impact of the pandemic.

The Communities Secretary was clear places of worship will only be opened when the government is confident that people can use these spaces safely and will not put themselves or others at risk.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

I realise how challenging being separated from their communities has been for people of faith. That is why I have convened the Places of Worship Taskforce, to establish how religious practices can safely resume outside the home as soon as possible.

Faith Minister Lord Greenhalgh said:

Places of worship serve such an important role in supporting and providing spiritual leadership for this country’s diverse communities and in bringing communities and the generations together, but this also makes them places that are currently particularly vulnerable to the spread of the pandemic.

We realise that practical issues such as the size of both physical buildings and congregations are significant but we are determined to find a way to safely reopen places of worship as soon as possible, ensuring that people are not put at undue risk.

Daniel Singleton, National Director of FaithAction, said:

At times of crisis, faith-based organisations have always been the first in and the last out, at the point of need. Despite the closure of places of worship, people of the faith have been on the frontline of community response, and neighbourliness has abounded. We look forward to working with Government to see how places of worship can be reopened and faith-based ministry can be enabled.

The taskforce will jointly produce guidance with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which supports places of worship across England to reopen safely.

Members of the Taskforce include:

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Cardinal Vincent Nichols
  • Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis
  • Imam Asim Yusef, Board of British Scholars and Imams
  • Rajnish Kashyap, Hindu Council UK
  • Jasvir Singh, City Sikhs
  • Daniel Singleton, FaithAction

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Notes to editors

For further information, interview requests or other queries about FaithAction, please contact Jenny Hadgraft by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 804 8829.

FaithAction is a network of faith-based and community organisations serving their communities by delivering public services – such as childcare, health and social care, housing and welfare to work.

FaithAction empowers faith-based and community organisations by offering support and training, disseminating key information and acting as a connector between Government and grassroots organisations.

For further information on FaithAction, visit the website: www.faithaction.net