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Return of church funerals welcomed

News that the Church of England is allowing funeral services to once again take place in their churches from today (15 June) has been welcomed by the UK’s largest funeral group, Co-op Funeralcare.

Director of Funerals David Collingwood (pictured) comments: “The news that the Church of England has provided guidance on reopening for funeral services from June 15 is welcome and we hope that other denominations will start to take this approach.

"It has been a time of great loss for our communities and sadly we know first-hand that for thousands of families the restrictions on funeral services have further added to their grief.

“Approximately a fifth of all the funerals we conduct involve a church service. During the lockdown we estimate therefore that nationally more than 35,000 families may have been unable to hold funerals in church as they would have wished. Sadly, this figure will be significantly higher when also taking all other religious settings into account.

“Observing religious traditions plays such an important role in the emotional wellbeing of many families at a time of loss. For many, holding funeral services in a place of worship provides them with the opportunity to create a personal and fitting tribute to their loved one and the life they lived.

“We are committed to working closely with all faiths in the coming weeks. By sharing our expertise in conducting funerals safely during the lockdown we hope that more families will start to have the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones in the way they wish.”

The updated Church of England funeral guidance is available here.

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