Funerals are both a time of giving thanks for the life of a loved one and an occasion to commit them to God's care. The services themselves give the opportunity for family and friends to come together to remember and give thanks for the life of their relative or friend, to express grief, and to commend the person into God's keeping.
Planning a funeral can be a very difficult time, and we will work with you and the funeral director to ensure that all the practical arrangements run smoothly. A member of the clergy will work with you to plan a service that is a fitting tribute to your loved one.
Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide.
Our ministers are available to take funeral services at a local crematorium or in church, and burials at local cemeteries. We are also able to intern ashes in our garden of Remembrance following a cremation for those who have a connection to the parish.
Arranging a service
Many people choose to have a Christian funeral service. If you make the funeral arrangements directly with the funeral director, they will contact the minister who will then get in touch with you to arrange a time to meet to plan the service.
What are the options?
Most people choose between a service in church (followed by a burial or cremation) or at the local crematorium. There is also the option of having a thanksgiving service at a later date. It may be that the deceased has made a particular request in their will, so before you make a decision, please check with the executor of their estate. Other than that, it does come down to personal preference.
What does the service involve?
A service normally includes music, readings, prayers, a tribute, a short address and space for reflection.
The length of a service can vary, although it usually lasts for 30-45 minutes in church and 30 minutes in a crematorium. The committal service at the crematorium following on from a service in church usually lasts 10 minutes.
If you wish to have flowers for the service other than the floral tributes, please ask the florist to liaise with the Parish Office.
You can choose to have an order of service. Some do one themselves whilst others ask the funeral director to do it. If you decide to have refreshments after the service and a collection, you might like to mention these on the order of service.
Don’t worry if you do not know where to start, the minister will help you plan the service.
How much does it cost?
The service fees vary depending on where it takes place and whether you choose a burial or a cremation. The funeral director should be able to advise you on the fees.
What about parking?
Car-park space is limited. We usually try and reserve three spaces in the front car park for the hearse and immediate family. Other parking is available in London Road station car-park off York Rd and in the car-park next to GLive off Dene Rd.
You might want to think about a map for those attending showing the church, adjacent car-parks, crematorium and where you will be gathering afterwards.
Garden of Remembrance
We do not have a churchyard at Christ Church, but we do have a Garden of Remembrance for those who have a strong connection with the church. If you decide to have the ashes scattered elsewhere, do make sure you check with the appropriate authorities that this is permissible.
In addition, we have a plaque on the wall where the names of those buried in the Garden of Remembrance can be added for an additional fee, and there is a space for people to leave flowers. We also have a Book of Remembrance inside the church, again for those who had a connection with the church.
Coping with bereavement
Bereavement affects people in different ways. It can be a traumatic and stressful time. Sometimes, the sense of loss is immediate; for others, it comes at a later stage and one can go through the whole range of emotions. Please do not feel you are alone. If you would like someone to talk to or simply listen, the minister or a member of the church family would be more than happy to visit you. At Christ Church, we also have a Pastoral Team trained to support individuals and families through times of bereavement.
Annual Commemoration Service
We have an annual Commemoration service on Remembrance Sunday afternoon to remember those who have died. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather with friends and family to remember and give thanks for the life of those who have died.
Finding out more about the Christian faith
As a church family, we care for those who live in our community and promise to pray for you as you go through this difficult time. Many people find it helpful to come to church at such a time, in order to take some time out to remember and to think about the bigger picture. You are most welcome to join us any Sunday at 8am or 10am.
It may be that you have some unanswered questions which you would like to work through. We also run enquirers course such as Alpha which help people find out about who Jesus is and why Christians believe He matters. Please contact the Parish Office if you would like more information.