It is natural that when someone dies, their family and friends will want to come together to express their grief and give thanks for their life at a funeral service. Many will also want to commend that person into God’s safe keeping and will therefore want that service to be conducted by the parish priest in your local church, or at the local crematorium or cemetery.
Everyone is entitled to a funeral service in their own parish church, regardless of whether they ever regularly attended or not. In addition, they also have the right to be buried in the churchyard if there is still space. Although it is normal for the burial (or interment of cremated remains) to take place after a service in church, your right to burial space will not be affected if you decide to have a humanist or similar funeral – the only criteria is that the service in the churchyard is carried out with respect. It is also fine for burials in our churchyard to be carried out by ministers of other denominations (e.g. Roman Catholic or Methodist), if that is what you would prefer.
We are very fortunate at Whittington, Weeford and Hints in having space in all three of our churchyards at the moment. However, we do have to protect the rights of all those who have an entitlement to a plot and are therefore afraid that we cannot allow burials for people living outside of the parish unless they have regularly worshipped at the church or meet the requirements of our graveyard policy.
Visiting priests or lay readers conduct funerals at church and at the crematorium. They are happy to be led by you as to the tone you want set in the service. We are happy to do as much, or as little, as you want and have no problem with friends or family members doing readings or making tributes. Although there has to be a Bible Reading – and we are happy to help you choose this – it is appropriate for other poems or readings to be included in the service. Also, whilst it is normal to have the organ played on entrance or exit we are also happy for pre-recorded music to be played if there is something that you think might be suitable to your loved one’s memory – we’ve had everything from Leaning on a Lamp Post and Dancing on the Ceiling to Time to Say Goodbye and classical pieces.
Once the date and time has been set, the priest or lay reader conducting the service will arrange to see you. He or she will then want to get to know both you and the deceased so that he can ensure that the funeral truly reflects your loved one and your hopes for the service. It is therefore good if as many family members as possible can be there. Please allow two hours for this meeting. We will also make sure that you have our contact details so that you can get in touch if you have any other queries then or at a later date.
We promise to do all we can to ensure that the funeral of your loved one is as fitting and appropriate as possible, no matter what your current link with our church. We also promise to be there to offer help and support.
Please seek advice from an undertaker in the first instance but be clear with them if you wish the funeral to be at one of our churches and/or to be led by your parish priest. It is normal for the undertaker to liaise between the family and the priest to identify a mutually convenient time for a funeral or burial of ashes. Details of some local undertakers are at the end of the page and, of course, there are many others that you can use.
Lynne Mills, Parish Administrator, can be contacted on 07721 767963 or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘
Some organisations that can further help you with grief
St Giles Hospice Grief Support Team (for anyone)
Lullaby Trust (following the death of a baby or child)
Some local Funeral Directors
Some local Monumental Masons