When the unimaginable happens, we’ll always be here to help you through one of life’s most difficult times. A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, but we’ll be there to give you support before, during and after the service, for as long as it’s needed. St Richard’s has been helping local people mark the end of a loved one’s life for over 50 years.
A Service of Hope
The message at all Church of England funerals, wherever they happen, is one of hope. Although there is sadness because someone you know and love has died, there will also be a message of hope in life after death.
“Hope is not just for the person who has died, it’s for the people who remain behind. It gives us something to hold on to. We are surrounded by creation with signs of things that die and come back to life, and that’s a wonderful metaphor of hope.”
Christians believe that when we die God promises that those who put their trust in him will be with him in a wonderful place where death and pain are gone forever. Whatever the circumstances of death these words of hope are a great comfort to those who are bereaved and who attend a funeral.
Christians believe that each and every person is uniquely made in the image of God. So a Church of England funeral is a good place to give thanks for all that was special about the person you knew and loved.
A Church of England funeral can be held in a place that you choose – whether a church, a crematorium or a green burial ground. Find out more here.
It can also include unique details, whether that is what people wear, the music that is played, readings that are chosen or simply a photograph at the front. Talk to the minister about the person you want to give thanks for and work out what is possible. Find out more about the service and the choices you can make.
The prayers at a funeral can also reflect a unique life. They could include prayers for work or a hobby that has been important, for those who have cared during a final illness and for family members by name. They can be led by the vicar or by someone among family or friends who is at ease leading prayers in public. Discover some prayers here.
After the initial news of the death of someone you knew and loved, there are some important things that need to be done. These are two of the more immediate things:
Register the death. There is some helpful guidance on this on the government’s births, marriages, and deaths advice page.
Meet a Funeral Director. If you’re not yet sure which one to use, you can find one near to you on the National Association of Funeral Directors’ website, or on the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) website.
The Funeral Director will talk to you about what kind of funeral you would like.
One of the first questions they’ll ask is whether you’d like a burial or a cremation. You might like to discuss this with other family members if you’re not sure what the preference was of the person who died.
The Funeral Director will ask about various details, including:
Whether the funeral should be civil, humanist or religious. Remember you don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to have a Church of England funeral – it is open to all.
Whether there is a particular minister or celebrant you have in mind to take the funeral.
What sort of coffin you would like.
How you would like the coffin to be transported to the service.
Whether you would like flowers.
They might ask whether you have any thoughts on music or other special ideas to reflect the life of the person you knew. The person who leads the service will talk to you more about this.
There are helpful websites that offer local contacts for some of these choices, such as
Your Funeral Director will also have contacts and recommendations.
If you choose to have a Church of England funeral, your funeral director will make contact with us, and someone from the church will visit you to listen to the story of the person you knew, and will go through all the details of the funeral service itself.