From the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities
17 December 2021
As Christmas nears I wanted to write to pass on my very best wishes for what will undoubtedly be a very busy period for us all.
Since taking up the role Faith Minister I had had the opportunity to meet some of you in person and many more over the internet. The pandemic has prevented many of us from meeting in person. To those can I just say how very much I hope that the new year allows us to rectify that, to speak face to face and to agree how we can work together.
All of us hoped that the exceptional pace and the exceptional scale of the vaccine programme would illuminate the way out of the pandemic for good, but fate has not been kind to us. You’ve faced three waves of Covid-19. And day-in, day-out you have done everything you can to keep your communities safe by offering support and solace to so many people. You’ve cared not just for their spiritual wellbeing, but also provided a multitude of support services that help those in need and bind our communities together. It’s been an extraordinary effort on your part, but you’ve made the extraordinary a feature of your ordinary day-to-day work. You have underlined to me and to others just how much faith underpins the fabric of lives.
We are not done yet with Covid, I fear. It is clear is that it is going to be another stress test for our NHS this Winter. The whole of the Government is focussed on massively ramping up the rollout of boosters across the country so we can reduce pressure on the NHS and save lives. And earlier [today] I was delighted to be able to host a roundtable meeting involving leaders from all faiths at which our NHS teams were able to set out our plans, and explain how you and your communities could lend your support.
I want you to know not only how grateful the Government is for all your work so far. But I also want to ask for your continued support as we now drive the booster vaccination programme forward. We all know that, in the long term, the way we will make it out of this global pandemic is by getting jabs into arms.
We have a busy time ahead, but I hope that you and the communities you lead are able to enjoy an uplifting Christmas, and my very best wishes for a healthy and successful New Year.
Kemi Badenoch MP
Minister of State for Equalities and Levelling Up Communities