A YORK MP’s attempt to raise the issue of church funerals in the House of Commons was beaten by the clock.

Rachael Maskell had wanted to ask the Church Commissioners when Anglican churches would reopen for funerals.

But the Speaker decided that there was only time for 17 MPs to raise questions - and she was number 18 in the queue.

However, Andrew Selous, second church estates commissioner said during the question session that the Church of England would work with the Government to enable funerals to take place in its churches again when the scientific evidence suggested that it would be safe to do so.

He said that public worship in Church of England churches is currently illegal because of the lockdown and could not resume until the Government and bishops said it could.

The current Church of England guidance to its clergy is that they should only conduct funerals at crematoriums or the graveside, and that only the deceased’s spouse or partner, parents and children should be allowed to attend.

Weddings cannot take place in church or via internet technology such as Skype or Zoom.

Only emergency baptisms should take place, either in hospital or at home with strict hygiene and distancing precautions.