Editor’s comment: I can’t see legal threat calming coroner’s row
- Credit: Archant
I am not religious, but religious groups are part of Hackney’s fabric. They are our friends, our neighbours, our community.
Which makes the row between the coroner’s office and a Jewish burial society in Stamford Hill all the more thorny.
Yet where a public service is involved – one we all pay into through tax and one we will all probably use (to make no presumptions about the possible collapse of civilisation, the discovery of immortality or, more plausibly, dying abroad) – I believe the argument bears a bit of unpicking.
We all, with or without faiths, pay taxes in exchange for a service that works for Hackney’s communities – including religious ones. The agreement struck in 2015 seems therefore to be fair – the Jewish community must have the right and the flexibility to observe its own customs and beliefs by taking a role in the guarding and burial of bodies.
But with that power should come some responsibility: not to rail against the coroner’s office for being short-staffed, but to have its back as a public service we all rely on.
You may also want to watch:
If it is overworked, religious leaders should be leading the fight for it to get better funding, not demanding preferential treatment.
No one doubts the seriousness of delays in dealing with bereavement, but that is true for all the families on the coroner’s waiting list, irrespective of faith. Dr Gratt accuses Ms Hassell of a disregard for religious people’s views, but what about the burial society’s disregard for the other families who needed help that day?
- 1 Mare Street Narroway see's queues for Primark and independent shops reopen on April 12
- 2 Three men charged following Hackney shooting
- 3 Hackney schoolgirl and actress Bukky Bakray wins Bafta
- 4 Hackney and Islington have some of the loudest neighbours in London
- 5 Haggerston tenants 'in the dark' after scaffolding left up for a year
- 6 New photography book celebrates Hackney’s residents of all ages
- 7 Jailed: Newham men who raped and robbed women in Hackney home
- 8 New Exhibition celebrates Hackney scenes
- 9 Hackney welcomes back eager gym-goers and swimmers
- 10 Days left to register to vote in May elections
I don’t believe rescinding the 2015 agreement is in anyone’s interest. But there are two sides, and I worry that threats to take the coroner to court will prove inflammatory rather than reconciliatory.