Central England Co-op Funeralcare welcomes plans to begin reopening Church of England buildings for services

Central England Co-op Funeralcare has welcomed news that Church of England buildings can start to re-open for services from next week.

The provider, which operates over 130 funeral homes across 16 counties, has backed the decision for a phased reopening at places of worship (from 15 June) such as churches and cathedrals.

However, members of the public have been advised that the guidance is ‘permissive and not prescriptive’ and urged to speak to their churches, vicars and funeral directors to understand plans on a local level.

People are also reminded that, at this moment, social distancing measures remain in place at all services and restricted to immediate family only which includes partners, parents, children, siblings and grandchildren.

It is hoped that this easing of restrictions will help families who have lost a loved one celebrate their life in a way that is closer to what they would have hoped pre-lockdown.

This comes alongside Central England Co-op Funeralcare colleagues working 24 hours a day to support families at their time of need after a range of changes had to be put in place following advice and guidance from the Government.

Hazel Moss, Head of Funeral, said: “As a Society, we will continue to work with the guidelines issued and operate to a COVID-19 secure environment.

“We welcome the decision by the Church of England and understand that for many families the potential of saying goodbye to a loved one in a church will make a huge difference in a difficult time.

“We will be working closely with our local churches to establish how they will react to this news and ensure that all our families are aware of how this applies to them and allow us to use our expertise to support them saying goodbye in the way they want.”

Preparations are also being made ahead of any potential further alterations to the way funerals are planned and services are held in the coming weeks.

This includes ensuring extra social distancing measures are being put in place at funeral homes to keep colleagues and clients safe such as hand sanitising stations and continued innovation with the use of phone and email to help families plan the funeral of a loved one while also still being able to see people in person via an appointment.

The Funeralcare provider will also be keeping a close eye on guidance related to the number of mourners able to attend funerals and will advise families accordingly based on the local rules and regulations.

It is also working closely with families to support celebrating the lives of their loved ones when restrictions are eased by helping to plan memorial events and celebrations of life.

People can keep up to date with the latest guidance by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates



Notes to editors


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop