We will always be here to help you through one of life’s most difficult times. A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, whether or not they were a churchgoer or their relatives are members of the church. A funeral service can be conducted by one of the clergy or lay ministers of St Mary’s in the church, at a crematorium, or even at the graveside in a cemetery. It will offer the opportunity to remember the person who has died in ways quite individual to themselves, to be thankful and celebrate their life, to reflect and share in prayers, and to hear a message of hope. Friends and family can speak, and music does not have to be played on the organ, nor traditional hymns sung – although, of course, those possibilities are there, too.
Usually, the first steps in arranging a funeral are taken with one of the local firms of Funeral Directors who will help you understand your options, not least in fixing a date, although you are more than welcome to contact the Rector or one of our other clergy before speaking to them.
Please also look at the very helpful Church of England website, which will tell you more about organising a funeral.
Before the funeral, the person who will be conducting it will arrange to meet with you to discuss how you would like the service to be, and to learn more about the person who has died. Our aim is to make each funeral very personal and appropriate both for the departed and for those who mourn them. We will ask you if you are willing for us to keep your contact details so we can be in touch afterwards: we would like to support you in the future, as we know that grief and the pain of loss can last a long time. In particular, we would like to be able to invite you to our annual service, ‘A Time to Remember’ at the beginning of November, when there will be the opportunity to light a candle for your loved-one alongside others who have also lost someone.
Sometimes people like to have a quiet or ‘family only’ funeral, or a service of committal at a crematorium or cemetery, followed later by a larger Memorial or Thanksgiving Service for their loved-one in church.  We are available to help with any arrangement you choose to make.
When someone has been cremated, many relatives like to have their remains interred in the attractive Garden of Remembrance in our churchyard.  A short service can be provided by one of the ministerial team on this occasion. The traditional setting of a parish graveyard set around an ancient church can be a very comforting place to visit, and we try always to keep our church building open too during the day, so that you can come in and see your loved one’s name in our memorial book (on a page displayed around the anniversary of their death), light a candle, and offer a prayer if you wish.
Interments and memorial plaques, where desired, should be arranged through local Funeral Directors, who can advise you and make necessary arrangements.
Our sincere aim when someone dies is to be there for you, to support you, pray for you, and remember your loved-one with you before our loving God.