Survey Introduction

British Ritual Innovation under COVID-19

Survey Information and Consent

This study examines the impact of the COVID-19 regulations on the rituals and worship conducted by religious communities across Britain. For this study, we are interested in rituals and acts of worship that people do together, rather than ones that individuals do on their own. Rituals may mark the passage of time or significant events in the life of a person or the community. They may affirm or embody core values and beliefs. They may have a fixed form, or they may be more spontaneously structured.  


We are interested in hearing from both ritual makers (e.g. worship leaders, facilitators, etc.) and participants in these kinds of rituals.  If you are both, you are welcome to re-take the survey twice, once from each perspective.

Below, you will find a full description of the aims of the research project, our research methods, and how we will treat and process your data. Please read it and indicate your consent by ticking the box at the bottom of this page. You can find more information and contact the project team on our website,



Participant Information Sheet

Social Distance, Digital Congregation:

British Ritual Innovation under COVID-19


1. Invitation to research

We would like to invite you to take part in a research project on the ways in which religious rituals have adapted in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As part of that research, we would like to hear from those who participate in, lead, or develop religious rituals of any sort—whether they are regular weekly or daily worship services, celebrations of holidays, or life-cycle events such as weddings and funerals. This survey will ask about your experience of these rituals. Whether you attend them regularly or only regularly or only occasionally, we would like to hear from you. The project is led by Dr Joshua Edelman of Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Alana Vincent of the University of Chester. You can find more details about the research on our website,

2. Why have I been invited?

We would like to hear from anyone in Britain who has some experience, no matter how infrequent, of religious rituals since lockdown has been imposed on the UK (ie, late March, 2020). We are interested in hearing from people of all religious backgrounds and none, and from all parts of the UK. It is important to us that the participants in this survey represent as closely as possible the demographic makeup of the UK as a whole, and we may send out particular invitations to particular sources to do so.

3. Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide. This page will describe the study, and you can download a copy of it here. We will ask you to tick a box at the bottom of this page to show you agreed to take part. You are free to withdraw at any time, without giving a reason. To do so, just close your web browser window.

4. What will I be asked to do? 

We will ask you to complete this survey online. You are encouraged to answer the questions as fully as you would like, and in a way that makes sense to you. We would appreciate as much information as you are willing to share.

On the last page of the survey, you will be asked to give some information about yourself, including your name and email address. These questions are entirely optional. If you do choose to answer them, those answers will be separated from the main survey data and stored separately. We will use this information for only two purposes: first, to keep you informed about the ongoing results of this research, and second, to contact those people who we would like to follow up with for case study interviews and further observations. If you would rather not be contacted for either of these reasons, please simply indicate that on the last page.

5. Are there any risks if I participate?

We do not anticipate any risks to you if you participate.

6. Are there any advantages if I participate?

While you will not be personally paid for participating in this survey, you will be contributing to a broad study of how British religious life has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. By giving your views, you will help to make sure that this study is as complete and useful as possible. We will be sharing our results with religious communities across Britain, and working with a group of them to use these results to improve the way they conduct their rituals during these difficult times. If you include your email address at the end of the survey, you will be able to receive updates on these results as they are published, and they will also be publicly accessible on our website,

7. What will happen with the data I provide?

Your answers to this survey will be treated as strictly confidential. This survey website is encrypted, and the responses will be stored on Manchester Metropolitan University’s secure system and will not be shared outside of the researchers involved with this work.

As this research is funded by the British public through the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we are required to make our data sets publicly available at the end of the research. Before we do so, however, we will anonymise your responses, removing not just your name and email address (if you choose to provide them), but any other information that might identify you, even inadvertently. The published results of this research may quote from your responses here, but if they do so, we will be sure to do so in a way that you cannot be identified.

On the last page of the survey, we will give you the option of giving your name and email address. These questions are optional, but if you choose to answer them, we will collect from you this personally-identifiable information.

The Manchester Metropolitan University (‘the University’) is the Data Controller in respect of this research and any personal data that you provide as a research participant.

The University is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and manages personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the University’s Data Protection Policy.

If you choose to provide it, we collect personal data as part of this research (such as name, telephone numbers or age). As a public authority acting in the public interest we rely upon the ‘public task’ lawful basis. When we collect special category data (which in this case may include religious affiliation) we rely upon the research and archiving purposes in the public interest lawful basis. 

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained.

The only other party we may share your data with is the University of Chester, who are our collaborators on this research. We will do so in order to fulfil the purposes set out above.

If your data is shared this will be under the terms of a Research Collaboration Agreement which defines use, and agrees confidentiality and information security provisions. It is the University’s policy to only publish anonymised data unless you have given your explicit written consent to be identified in the research. The University never sells personal data to third parties.

We will only retain your personal data for as long as is necessary to achieve the research purpose. All personal data will be held securely, and will be erased six months after the end of the research project (that is, in February 2022).

For further information about use of your personal data and your data protection rights please see the University’s Data Protection Pages (

8. What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results of the study will be published in a public report, scheduled to be released in July 2021. We will also run a public conference at that time with religious leaders from around the UK, so that they can use our study’s findings to develop their own work in these difficult times. Before then, the project team will be publishing monthly updates and interim findings on the project website,, all of which will be freely accessible, and will be working with a variety of British religious leaders to put this work into practice in their own community’s religious lives. The results will also be presented to academic conferences, such as the European Association for the Study of Religions, and published in peer-reviewed academic journal articles and books.

9. Who has reviewed this research project?

This project has been reviewed and approved by the ethics committee of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the Manchester Metropolitan University, where the principal investigator is based. It has also been reviewed and approved by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, who have funded the the project.  

10. Who do I contact if I have concerns about this study or I wish to complain?

If you have general questions about the project, please contact the researcher, Dr Joshua Edelman, by email on, by calling +44 161 247 5448, or writing to Manchester School of Theatre, Arts and Humanities Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BG. If you have concerns about the ethics of this project, you can contact the faculty ethics and governance team at, by phone on +44 1616 247 5915, or by post at Arts and Humanities Ethics Committee, All Saints Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH.

If you have any concerns regarding the personal data collected from you, our Data Protection Officer can be contacted using the e-mail address, by calling 0161 247 3331 or in writing to: Data Protection Officer, Legal Services, All Saints Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6BH. You also have a right to lodge a complaint in respect of the processing of your personal data with the Information Commissioner’s Office as the supervisory authority. Please see:


Please select "yes" to indicate that you understand the research project and would like to participate in the survey. Required