Polling conducted by Populus in May 2020 found that 58% of the public support existing Sunday trading hours.
Research by Oxford Economics in 2015 found that a relaxation of Sunday trading hours could result in net loss of 3,270 jobs in England and Wales.
Most people believe that Sunday is a different day to the rest of the week, with 61% of people saying it enables shared time with family and friends and 58% believe it is a day for relaxation. (Populus - 2015)
View from Malcolm Brown, Church of England
Churches are open for worship seven days a week – why should we deny similar access to those whose religion is shopping?
The Church of England opposes further deregulation of Sunday shopping hours, not out of self-interest but because the church seeks the common good of all. We believe that further deregulation makes bad economic sense and bad social sense. That is because it will entrench the power of giant retail chains over the small retailers, ultimately diminishing consumer choice, and because the effect of more people working on Sundays will be deeply damaging to the voluntary, associational, lives of our communities which are what enable us to be fully human. The common good is eroded when too much power is concentrated in too few hands and when people are unable to pursue activities which may have no economic significance but require the company, friendship and support of one another.
Most voluntary activity – clubs and societies, amateur sport, good neighbourliness, yes and church life – requires is at least one day of the week when, by and large, most people can expect their friends to be free to do things together. Family life can’t flourish if there is never a day when people can visit parents, aunts or cousins. It is not just shop-workers who will be taken out of the social mix if Sunday trading hours are extended – many others have to work to support Sunday Trading. The impact on our lives outside work – our lives as citizens, volunteers and even as friends -- will be irreversibly damaged.
That is why the Church of England opposes further extension of Sunday trading hours. For all our sakes – Keep Sundays Special.