Loosing someone close to you is always a difficult time and can feel overwhelming. There are legal processes and practical arrangements to be made at a time of shock and grief. And then there's a funeral to think about; a time to say goodbye and to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Many people feel they can't ask for a church funeral if they haven't been a church-goer, but that's not the case. If your loved one lived in St Stephen's parish, or had connections to the church, you are welcome to have a funeral at St Stephens, and or to have one of the clergy conduct a service at the Crematorium.
There are many things to consider when planning where to have a funeral. At St Stephen's we offer not only the care of the clergy and church community, but the peace and beauty of the church building itself, and the time to be able to say goodbye as you and your family would wish. There are no tight time constraints as there often are at a crematorium.
A church funeral service is often followed by a short cremation service at the crematorium. Alternatively some prefer to have a short cremation service first, and a celebration of their loved one's life in the church afterwards. Other combinations that are sometimes considered are a private family funeral followed a little later by a thanksgiving service for a wider congregation. It's always worth talking these decisions through with our clergy.
For more information on Church of England funerals please click the green tab below
Arranging a funeral
The funeral director is usually the first port of call when arranging a funeral. They will liaise with the family, the clergy, the church and crematorium to arrange a suitable day and time for the funeral. The minister will then arrange to meet the family to discuss details of hymns, music, readings etc that might be wanted in the service. We feel its important to be able to say goodbye well, so we like to spend time getting to know the family and finding out as much as possible about the person who has passed away. That way the service reflects them and becomes a fitting tribute to their life.
Pastoral care doesn't begin or end with a funeral. Neither is it restricted to regular churchgoers. The clergy and church pastoral visitors are available to anyone within the parish or church family who needs spiritual support. This is most often acutely felt at times of serious illness, nearing the end of a life or during recent bereavement. Our care therefore extends way beyond the funeral itself. If you'd like to know more please use the contact form or contact the Church Office by clicking on the green tab below.
God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort!