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National church survey detects discontent over Government’s handling of Covid-19 crisis

29 May 2020

Few believe the Government has responded well to the outbreak. Complete the survey here

PA

The Prime Minister gives Monday’s coronavirus briefing

The Prime Minister gives Monday’s coronavirus briefing

FEWER than one quarter of the respondents to the Coronavirus, Church and You survey believe that the Government has responded well to the outbreak.

The survey, produced by the University of York St John in partnership with the Church Times, asked whether the Government responded well when the virus threat emerged, and whether it had led the nation well during the lockdown.

Full results will be published later, but, of the first 1790 responses from lay people, only 24 per cent agreed that the Government had performed well at first, and only 29 per cent thought that it was continuing to lead the nation well. In contrast, 52 per cent disagreed with the first proposition, 42 per cent with the second.

The 1417 clergy who have responded to date appear to be more critical: 20 per cent agreed that the Government had handled the emerging virus threat well; 57 per cent disagreed. As with the laity, the approval figure for the handling of the lockdown was slightly higher, at 25 per cent, with 48 per cent disagreeing.

In contrast, only two per cent disagreed with the proposition that the NHS had responded well to the crisis.

The survey was launched three weeks ago, and, during that time, support for the Government seems to have fallen, particularly among the clergy. Thirty per cent of respondents in the week beginning 10 May agreed that it had led the nation well. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, this had fallen to 21 per cent.

The survey is still open. In particular, more lay responses are needed to produce the fullest picture of how the Church has responded to the pandemic. The survey can be found here.

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