Prince Charles thanks religious communities for helping their neighbours through Covid-19

Hannah Furness
·2 min read
The Prince of Wales with the Dean of Westminster at a service in Westminster Abbey in 2018 - PA
The Prince of Wales with the Dean of Westminster at a service in Westminster Abbey in 2018 - PA

The Prince of Wales has thanked religious communities for looking after their neighbours during Covid-19, saying he has been "so deeply struck" by how they have set differences aside for "fundamental human compassion and decency".

The Prince, in a video message to the Commonwealth, praised the “wonderful work” of faith communities in providing “vital” support that had become “so wonderfully evident” during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

“Faith communities do such wonderful work to help those in need and their members volunteer to care for the sick, give charity to the poor and help the most vulnerable around them,” he said.

“So often they are the main providers of vital welfare, of health and educational services to all sorts of people.

“They do this in service to God and to community but also out of fundamental human compassion and decency.”

The recognition of the role of faith in community is likely to be particularly welcomed by religious leaders who have seen their places of worship shut under lockdown, and who have been adapting to hold services online to reach their congregations.

The Prince, who will succeed the Queen as Head of Commonwealth, was speaking at a virtual multifaith conference hosted by the Commonwealth Jewish Council to bring together leaders of different religions.

Saying he hoped to celebrate the “essential role that faith communities play in the fabric of so many Commonwealth communities”, he hailed organisations that are “so much more than buildings; each sits at the heart of the community it serves, strengthening the bonds that connect people to one another”.

“I have also often been deeply struck by how faith communities in the Commonwealth come together in time of need, setting differences aside and focusing on their common bond of humanity,” he added.

“This has been so wonderfully evident during the current Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Religious communities throughout the Commonwealth, even as they've had to close their places of worship and disrupt their treasured traditions and practices, have come together to support one another.

“I know that people from all communities have so tragically lost loved ones from this terrible virus and have come together to provide care, support and kindness to one another in such desperately difficult circumstances.”

Adding he had been “greatly heartened” to see cross-faith collaboration, the Prince said: “All of us can benefit from seeing things from each others' perspectives and from taking time to understand each others’ traditions and beliefs.”