Many of us are bewildered by approaching death and confused by the possibilities presented to us when we are faced with the need to plan a funeral.
If you are recently bereaved we do offer you our condolences and hope that we may be able to offer you our support and help at this time.
After reading here, you may find it helpful to visit www.churchofenglandfunerals.org – it is a very good website full of information to help you in advance, during or after a funeral. You can also ‘Light a Candle’ in remembrance on the website! Or, if you cannot attend a funeral of a relative or friend then you may find this leaflet to be helpful to use for your reflections at the same time as the service or in your own time: A Simple Reflection
As a first step at the time of death you may have been in touch with a Funeral Director. The director should guide you and usually contact the church on your behalf to make arrangements for a funeral whether that is to be in our churches or at a Crematorium.
You are of course welcome to get in touch with us at any time if you wish via the Parish Office.
Ministry at the Time of Death
Clergy in the parish work in a number of nursing homes and the hospital as do a number of trained lay people. They are all willing to support the family of those who are with their loved ones at the time of death, either by just being there, or by offering the prayers of commendation. Families can request the ministers by asking the staff at the hospital or the nursing home to call them.
Before the Funeral
The family will usually have visited a Funeral Director of their choice. They will then call the parish office to make arrangements about the time, the place, and who will conduct the funeral.
If the funeral is to be held in church, the Parish Office Administrator will arrange the organist and sidespeople for the service.
If the service is held either at the crematorium or the cemetery the Parish Office Administrator will arrange for a minister to conduct the service. All other aspects should be discussed with the Funeral Director, who will arrange for an organist if hymns are required.
The minister who is conducting the service will then visit the family. They will offer help and support in this difficult time as well as making the necessary preparations for the funeral service.
Matters to be considered include:
- Is a service sheet to be prepared?
- Is a special floral tribute needed in the church?
- What music is to be played or sung?
- What readings are to be used?
- Is someone close to the family going to pay a special tribute?
- Are there any particular circumstances to be aware of?
After a crematorium funeral two services can be considered:
- The first is the burial of the Ashes. This is a short service and may happen quite soon after the funeral when the family are still gathered, or at a later date when the family wish to remember the person who has died. The arrangements will usually be made with the Funeral Director who will contact the parish office. If the Ashes are to be interred in the Churchyard, arrangements about the date and time should be made with the parish office.
- The second is a memorial service in church. This can either take place immediately following the cremation when the funeral service will be used without the Committal; or, occasionally families prefer a service to be held several weeks after the crematorium to enable those who wish to be present to make the necessary arrangements. The family will be involved with the Clergy conducting the service in arranging a fitting tribute. All arrangements for such a memorial Service should be made through the parish office.
After the Funeral
A short while after a funeral a member of our Bereavement Team will usually be in touch with the offer of a simple follow up visit. They’ll also invite any who are bereaved to our very special and warm group called ‘Cuppa & Company’. This monthly group is hosted by the Bereavement Team and is valued by those who come along. It offers good support and care, new friends and home-made cake! Meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month in the Parish Centre Lounge at 2.00pm. You don’t have to wait for an invite to come along!
Special All Saints Service to remember loved ones
Every year in on All Saints Sunday at the end of October a special evening service is held in church, candles are lit and the names of those who are to to remembered are read out in the prayer time. Those who have been bereaved in the past year will be invited and are encouraged to attend.