Christians believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ give them hope and cause for thanksgiving in the face of death. In this faith, we entrust those who have died to the infinite mercy and love of God. A church funeral service acknowledges this hope and offers bereaved people the opportunity to remember their loved one’s life and offer them into God’s care.
How do we arrange a funeral?
Most people will use the services of a local funeral director, who will provide advice and organise all the practical arrangements. If you would like a funeral to involve the church and local clergy it is a good idea to contact them to see if they are available before booking the time and date of the service.
The person who has died may have left details of the sort of funeral that they hoped for. The Clergy will want to support families in keeping to such arrangements as much as possible and in making the service a personal and appropriate occasion. Taking funerals is an important part of the clergy’s work and they will take time to visit families, offering comfort and support before and after the funeral itself.
Do you know someone terminally ill?
If you know that either you or a loved one are terminally ill, the church would like to support you and your family through this difficult time, as well as after the bereavement. Do contact the clergy if you would welcome this support.
Burials and Cremations
Just over half of funerals today are cremations and services may take place entirely at the crematorium or in addition to a church service. If cremation is desired this leaves the question of what to do with the ashes. Local crematoria have gardens of rest where ashes can be buried or scattered and our Benefice churches have an area of their churchyards set aside for Interment of Ashes.
The time between a person’s death and their funeral is often very busy and full of practical arrangements. Often it is only after the funeral that the full extent of loss affects the bereaved.
Grieving is a natural and important part of coming to terms with, and healing, this loss and it may continue for several months. There are people within our churches who have experienced loss and who are in a position to offer support in the months and years following a death.
The Clergy and church officers may be able to offer help or find others who can provide such friendship and support. There are patterns and themes to bereavement but each person is different and it is important for people to be supported in finding their own way through grief.
Service for the Bereaved
Most years a service for the bereaved is held at one of the valley churches at the end of October (close to the festival of All Souls). Anyone who has been bereaved is welcomed to this ecumenical service.
Sources of Help
In addition to support from our church family further information can be obtained from the following websites: