Pandemic Support

Faith groups offer a warm and welcoming presence providing care, protection and support to all those within their community. This is an honoured, long term tradition with a focus for the sick, disabled, vulnerable and lonely.

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We will be updating this page as advise comes through.

Government guidance 12 March

NHS guidance 

ncvo advice advice

Barnet Council – 5 March


Government to amend emergency coronavirus bill to stop cremation against families’ wishes

Read the article in The JC

Clear Guidance on Religious Venues

Extract from Government / Police Central…

At the end of last week, the Government announced that a series of businesses and premises must remain closed. This list included places of worship.

Whilst we cannot give direction or permission for a person(s) to enter a religious venue for one or more or the reasons being asked, we must strongly reiterate the government’s advice about the only reason such a place should be open and who is permitted to attend.

These are:

Funerals, where the congregation is immediate family (with provision for a carer, if required) or a friend – in the case that no family members are attending. A distance of 2 metres is to be maintained between every household group, as per Public Health England guidelines.

  • A minister of religion, to go to their place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.
  • For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public service*, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

*For public services the guidelines state the cooking facility at religious venues can only remain open and operational in the capacity of a food bank service. This would require food to be prepared by only 1 or 2 persons at the venue and distributed into the Community by volunteers who would NOT enter the venue, but collect the parcels and provide them free of charge to the homeless, elderly and vulnerable who depend on this public service.  All persons involved in this must adhere to the social distancing rule of two metres. 

Please ensure that, and members of your community all follow the government’s guidelines strictly and ensure that there is no consumption of food anywhere within the religious venue as this is prohibited.   

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in the community at this time, it is essential especially for the homeless, elderly and vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes. Please know we are here to support you, if we all follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the Government we will get through this together.

Amendment to Burial Issue Accepted
Dr. Mozammel Haque

As the Parliament went to debate on Monday, 23 March 2020 Muslim community was requested to contact or write to their political representative Member of Parliament to them to have a Muslim burial and not cremation.
Read more

Message from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference – summary

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change…

Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.

However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.

Read the full message here

People of all faiths and beliefs need to support one another

Read a message from Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum

Guidance from The Methodist Church

Updated 17 March 15:00

The Muslim Council of Britain calls for all Mosques to suspend congregational prayers in Mosques. 

Guidance from the Church of England

“In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
Churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place. Prayers can be said by clergy and ministers on behalf of everyone and churches should consider ways of sharing this with the wider community. See more below on digital resources that are under development and currently available.”

London COVID-19 information and data updates

Corona Advice in community languages from members Doctors of the World

Doctors of the World (DOTW) are really pleased to be able to share Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice for patients in 20 languages, which were produced in partnership with the Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice.

Available now: English, Albanian, Dari, French, Pashto, PortugueseComing VERY soon: Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Farsi

You can find them on our google drive here.

The guidance is based on the government’s updated advice and health information. We really hope it will help to ensure this important guidance reaches migrant and asylum-seeking communities in the UK.

We would be happy if you could please share these with your patients, service users and your networks widely so that we reach out to all communities who would like this crucial information in their own language.