From the Church of England’s Funeral Service:
“God’s love and power extend over all creation. Every life, including our own, is precious to God. Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Christ over death.
Even those who share such faith find that there is a real sense of loss at the death of a loved one. We will each have had our own experiences of their life and death, with different memories and different feelings of love, grief and respect. To acknowledge this at the beginning of the service should help us to use this occasion to express our faith and our feelings as we say farewell, to acknowledge our loss and our sorrow, and to reflect on our own mortality. Those who mourn need support and consolation. Our presence here today is part of that continuing support.”
That phrase “continuing support” strongly implies that this has been present before the Funeral service itself. In the parish we are fortunate in having Funeral Directors who take seriously the care of the deceased and the bereaved. The Parish Clergy work with the Funeral Directors in being part of that support before, during and after the Funeral Service.
The clergy are often asked to visit the dying, to minister the Sacraments of the Church which bring peace and comfort to both the dying and their families. After the death of a loved one the clergy will willingly visit you in your home to offer the spiritual care and support that are a vital and necessary part of planning the Funeral Service.
The Funeral Service itself is designed by the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission to enable a degree of both formality and flexibility – and the clergy in this parish are committed to ensuring that the Service honours the life of the deceased, brings comfort and hope to those they leave behind, and commends their souls to the Lord.
To arrange a funeral service that is conducted by one of the Parish Clergy all you have to do is inform the Funeral Director that you wish one of us to take the Service – even if it is held at a Crematorium. You do not need to use a minister or Civil Celebrant suggested by a Funeral Director – you have a right to ask for the Parish Clergy should you wish. The Funeral Director will contact the Parish Priest on your behalf and liaise with yourselves and him on the date, time and venue of the Service.
Of course you are always welcome to contact us on the email address provided on this website, using the contact form.
Burials and Monuments in All Saints Churchyard:
Unfortunately, it is not possible to bury in St Mary & St Giles Churchyard as it was closed for burials in 1855.
However, All Saints Churchyard is open for burials for those who die within the bounds of the Parish. Where a resident of the Parish dies outside of the Parish, e.g. at a Hospital, the Parish Priest should be asked for his agreement to a burial taking place in the Churchyard. At the time of writing (August 2015), and at current burial numbers per year, there is sufficient space in All Saints Churchyard to last many years, so receiving such an agreement for a resident of the parish should not present a difficulty.
Following a burial in a churchyard we strongly advise that you wait at least 12 months before erecting a headstone. This allows the land to settle and reduces the risk of a headstone tilting.
The Parish Priest is only allowed by the Chancellor of the Diocese to permit Monuments in porous stones and is restricted as to the size of the monument. Funeral Directors and Monumental Masons all have copies of the rules and knowledge of what the Parish Priest is allowed to permit. Applications for monuments in non-porous types of stone and of a larger size have to be submitted to the Chancellor of the Diocese after a lengthy application procedure and public notice period, and are subject to further fees. The Chancellor has already indicated that he will not approve any applications for kerbstones – this includes edging stones, wooden fencing and plants.
These rules can seem a little intimidating. However, All Saints Churchyard is a pretty churchyard and the intention of the rules is to maintain it as such; as well as allowing for ease of maintenance and mowing.
If you have any questions about the churchyard at All Saints please do contact us on the email address provided on this website, using the contact form or phoning the Parish Office on 01908 562148.