If you are facing bereavement, we want to offer you our deepest condolences and support at this difficult time. We hope that this information will be helpful to you as you plan a funeral. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are arranging a funeral for a loved one or would like some more general information.
Anyone who lives in the parish of St Mary’s and the parish of Walthamstow or is on the electoral roll of the parish or who dies in the parish is entitled to a funeral in the parish church, or to have the clergy of the parish conduct their funeral at a crematorium or graveside, or to have a memorial service, regardless of whether they are churchgoers.
Our approach is both personal and pastoral and our support continues for as long as you need it in the weeks and months after the funeral. A Church of England funeral can be shaped by you and your loved ones. Our services follow a particular structure but there is flexibility within that. We always include a message of hope in the unending love of God and the eternal life we find in him.
If you would like a Church of England funeral service, either in church or in a cemetery or crematorium, please let your funeral director know this. It is advisable that they or you check our availability before committing to a final date.
Once a booking is made, a member of the clergy team will contact you and arrange to visit you and other family members at home or you are welcome to come and meet us at the church so you can get a feel for the building.
When we visit, we will guide you through a service and the choices you need to make. Our aim is to shape something which honours the person’s memory and also expresses both hope and faith. We will spend time listening to the life story of the friend or family member who has died and we may ask you questions so that we can learn as much about them as we can. It doesn’t matter whether or not you or the person who has died are religious – we often find that many people have a sense of faith in God, however they might describe that.
A Church of England funeral has some set elements including a reading from the Bible, the Lord’s prayer and prayers of Commendation and Committal but there is also lots of space to personalise the service with poems and hymns and music that are particularly important to you or to your loved one. We will work with you to create a service which feels appropriate and fitting.
How much does it cost to have a funeral?
The pastoral care and support that we offer for those who are dying and bereaved is part of our parish ministry, and is free of charge. Funeral services and interments do incur a statutory fee, set by the national Church, but this is generally a very small percentage of the overall funeral cost.
To arrange a funeral, the best thing to do is to speak to your Funeral Director or contact us as soon as possible, and we will be glad to talk you through the next steps.
After the funeral
We know that bereavement continues long after the funeral service and the church is here to offer ongoing support. You might find it helpful to join us at one of our services or events where there is often an opportunity to meet others who have had similar experiences and a chance to meet new people.
The church also offers pastoral support for anyone who might welcome a phonecall or conversation. Please don’t hesitate to be in contact with us if we can help you.