Comment from David Collingwood, Director of Funerals, Co-op Funeralcare

10 June 2020

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.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Jane Thoms | sarahjane.thoms@coop.co.uk | 07890 384 552

Vikki McCrindle | vikki.mccrindle@coop.co.uk | 07773 096 868

Lauren Pogson | lauren.pogson@coop.co.uk | 07702 505 626

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About the Co-op

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.

Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of over £10 billion.