Prince Charles has praised the ''wonderful work'' of religious communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 71-year-old royal has been ''so deeply struck'' by the way people have demonstrated ''fundamental human compassion and decency'' and set differences aside to provide ''vital'' support to local communities.

He said at a virtual multifaith conference hosted by the Commonwealth Jewish Council: ''Faith communities do such wonderful work to help those in need and their members volunteer to care for the sick, give charity to the poor and help the most vulnerable around them.

''So often they are the main providers of vital welfare, of health and educational services to all sorts of people.

''They do this in service to God and to community but also out of fundamental human compassion and decency.''

During the meeting, which brought together leaders of different religions, Charles explained he wanted to celebrate the ''essential role that faith communities play in the fabric of so many Commonwealth communities and hailed how they are essential to people's lives.

He said: ''[They are] so much more than buildings; each sits at the heart of the community it serves, strengthening the bonds that connect people to one another.

''I have also often been deeply struck by how faith communities in the Commonwealth come together in time of need, setting differences aside and focusing on their common bond of humanity.

''This has been so wonderfully evident during the current Covid-19 pandemic.''

And Charles praised how well faith groups have come together, even though social distancing measures meant their places of worship have closed.

He added: ''Religious communities throughout the Commonwealth, even as they've had to close their places of worship and disrupt their treasured traditions and practices, have come together to support one another.

''I know that people from all communities have so tragically lost loved ones from this terrible virus and have come together to provide care, support and kindness to one another in such desperately difficult circumstances.''

The prince was ''greatly heartened'' by cross-faith collaborative efforts.

He added: ''All of us can benefit from seeing things from each others' perspectives and from taking time to understand each others' traditions and beliefs.''