On Wednesday the 4th of November, Stuart Anderson MP asked a question at Prime Minister's Questions. He took the opportunity to praise the work that local places of worship have been doing during this difficult time for the community. He asked the Prime Minister directly to ensure that places of worship can re-open to the wider public as soon as it is practically possible and safe to do so.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government will be working as hard and as fast as it can so that places of worship can be allowed to do so. It was added that, if we can get through this period of restrictions, there will be a very good prospect of allowing communal worship in time for Christmas and other celebrations in December.
The new legislation which has been introduced means that places of worship should only open during this time for funerals, broadcasts, individual prayer, formal childcare, essential voluntary and public services and certain exempted support group activities. Face coverings are mandatory in places of worship.
More information about the new restrictions can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Speaking after the event, Stuart Anderson MP said: "As a Christian, I know that faith is central to the lives of many constituents, and I understand just how important it is to be able to regularly attend prayer and services. I am pleased that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care confirmed that Ministers are talking with faith leaders to do everything that they can to reach an arrangement as soon as possible.
Like the rest of the UK, our community has endured restrictions for a long period of time, and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has been following the official guidance. I remain committed to working with all local partners - including places of worship - so that we can continue to protect our community and ensure that it gets the support that it needs.”
Stuart Anderson (MP for Wolverhampton South West)
Does the Prime Minister recognise the importance of places of worship to my constituents in Wolverhampton and the rest of the country? Does he agree that they should open as soon as practically possible, and will he commend the work that has been done in those places to make them covid-secure?
Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)
I thank my hon. Friend for campaigning for places of worship in the way that he does, and I am so deeply sorry that these restrictions have to be put in place right now. We will work as hard and fast as we can to allow people to worship in the way they want from 2 December, and that is why I hope the House will approve this package of measures tonight.