At life’s most difficult moments, your parish church is there for you. We can help you to create a personal, moving and fitting service for your loved one. Your parish priest will walk with you every step of the way, and provide support for you in the days and weeks that follow.
If you have been recently bereaved, and would like a Christian funeral for your loved one please let your funeral director know in the first instance. They will then contact the church to make sure one of the clergy is available, and to make the necessary arrangements. We can take the funeral either in church or in a crematorium or burial site. Once we have a date for your service, one of the clergy will be in touch with you and will come and see you. We will listen with care to your memories and feelings about the person who has died, and will help to craft a service incorporating your wishes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Should I have a funeral in church or at a crematorium / burial site?
The choice is yours: we can lead a service in either location. There are some benefits to having a service in church before proceeding to the place of cremation / burial. Firstly, there are no time constraints; whereas crematorium services are usually limited to 30 minutes, we can offer a fuller and longer service if you desire. Secondly, there can be a greater sense of history and prayerfulness in a church building in which worship has taken place for over 150 years.
2. Do I have to have hymns or can I choose my own music?
We can arrange an organist to play for hymns if you would like to sing, but you don’t have to. You can have whatever music you choose, provided it is not likely to cause offence – the member of the clergy will be able to advise. As long as the music is commercially available, we can usually play it given enough notice. There may be a charge for music we have to download.
3. What about readings / poems / prayers / tributes?
A Church of England service will contain beautiful and hopeful prayers, as well as at least one Bible reading. You are then free to add your own poems, and readings, but you don’t have to. We can make suggestions if you are unsure. You are welcome to give your own tribute or the member of clergy leading your service can do this for you.
4. What if I’m not very religious or haven’t been a church-goer?
Death is one of life’s great mysteries. It makes us think about what life is about and what really matters to us. Those are spiritual questions. Many of us believe that those we love have ‘gone to a better place’ or have been reunited with others that they love who have died: these are religious beliefs. These are also things that humanist or purely secular funeral simply cannot offer. With that in mind, a Christian funeral begins to make more sense. More than anything, the Christian funeral service is about hope: hope in a God who loves and cares for us, and who has come near to us in Jesus Christ. You may not know exactly what you believe about God and Jesus – or you may have very clear sense. Either way, in the Church of England, we are here for you.
5. What about after the funeral?
The person who conducted the funeral of your loved one will always be in touch with you a week or so following the funeral. We see our Christian responsibility being to care for you, not simply to provide a ‘service.’ We won’t bother you or chase you up, but there will always be ways in which you can receive support you as you come to terms with your loss. These range from simply a friendly cup of tea and a chat, to the more formal Service of Light which is held once a year. You will be invited to come along to the church and give thanks for the life of those who have died, in the caring company of others.
Please contact us if you have any further questions. There is lots more information on the Church of England’s dedicated website: