Eventually death touches all of us and the Church has an important place in supporting people through this difficult time.
A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth and as well as being a time to say goodbye to our loved ones and express our grief, it is also the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate and give thanks for the life that has ended and commend the person into God’s keeping. We can also thank God that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, death need not have the final word and that eternal life is available to us all.
People who live in the parish have a right to have their funeral at any of the parish churches even if they have not attended church during their life.
To arrange a funeral you will need to speak to the Vicar. You will also need to appoint a funeral director and very often they will liaise with the clergy on your behalf to agree the date and time of the funeral. If you want a different person, a vicar from a different parish for instance, to take the service, this should be sorted out before any other funeral arrangements are made to make sure they are available. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter whether you speak to the clergy or the funeral director first – for many people it is a matter of starting with what they feel they can cope with first.
The clergy and lay ministers see the taking of funerals and the comforting of those who mourn as important parts of their work. They give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what they want included in the funeral service and helping them to arrange it. To arrange the details of the service, they will make an appointment to meet up with you.
The funeral director plays a very important part in all these arrangements and will want to know if the funeral is to be in the church or in the crematorium. Funeral directors know the local ministers, the local cemeteries and the crematoria. As part of a national network of funeral directors, they can, if necessary, give advice on funerals in other parts of the country, as well as on costs and fees.
For further information, please contact Rev Julie Coleman on 020 8886 9557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Church of England Funeral website for funerals is: https://churchofenglandfunerals.org/organising-funeral/funeral-locations/