Co-op Funeralcare is urging the government to reopen places of worship during the second national lockdown.
New research from the funeral care provider has revealed the detrimental impact that the closure of churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are having on religious people and local communities.
Over half of those surveyed (52%) had to worship privately at home as places of worship closed during the first lockdown.
This meant that people could no longer worship collectively, a very important source of comfort for almost half (46%) of those surveyed.
Some 20% of those surveyed, whose place of worship had closed during lockdown, also said that they were unable to attend the funeral of a loved one
Sam Tyrer, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Over the past year, we have seen just how important it is that communities come together and support one another during these devastating times.
“This research shows that, for many, places of worship are an incredibly important part of that and their closure is having a real impact on people’s wellbeing.”
He added: “Whilst it is clear that tough decisions have been made to curb the spread of Covid-19, the closure of places of worship may have unintended consequences on the wellbeing of those that rely on them, particularly the bereaved.
“We urge government to consider the health and wellbeing of individuals for whom places of worship and collective worship are critical and consider allowing such venues to fully reopen safely during lockdown.”