Councils do understand faith burial needs

Your article (Religious Row over Burials, H&H November 7) highlights a well-known problem faced by both the Muslim and Jewish communities. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has done extensive work on the issue to ensure that appropriate procedures are

Your article (Religious Row over Burials, H&H November 7) highlights a well-known problem faced by both the Muslim and Jewish communities. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has done extensive work on the issue to ensure that appropriate procedures are put in place for 'out of hours' registrar contact.

Whilst the feelings of Rabbi Janner-Klausner and Rabbi Wittenberg may be well founded, it is important to stress that on the whole, both Barnet and Camden councils understand the needs of faith communities and their support has enabled many families to arrange for immediate burial outside of regular working hours.

Anyone familiar with the field will be aware that the system by which death certification and registration operates is in urgent need of reform and, in fact, the government is in the process of drafting new legislation to that effect. The Board of Deputies has been pleased to contribute to that drafting process and believes that the proposed reforms will greatly support faith communities in this area.

Ultimately, in order to avoid occasions when these misunderstandings do develop, our goal must be to increase education and communication with local councils to ensure that they continue to be the rare exception rather than the rule. We look forward to working closely with them to achieve that objective.


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Jon Benjamin

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