Funerals and Bereavement

East window ascension
Christ's Ascension - from the East window of St Mary's Church

The death of someone close is a very sad time and there is always such a lot to do when you least feel able to cope.  Whatever your needs, we are here to help at this difficult time.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding death or funerals or bereavement.

A funeral service in church is for anyone, whether or not they have been  regular churchgoers.  It is best to approach your chosen funeral directors first.  They will liaise with the clergy initially, and one of the clergy team will then contact you to arrange a visit.

Planning a Funeral Service

A funeral service may be held in St. Mary’s, or at a crematorium, or in a cemetery chapel.  Our clergy are available to take the service in whichever setting you choose.

The clergy will help you plan the service, which can be very simple, or more elaborate if you wish.  It usually lasts about thirty minutes and always includes prayers, a Bible reading and a short address.  Hymns, music, other readings and a tribute to your loved one can also be included.  Please let the clergy know if you, or any of your family or friends, would like to contribute to the service.

A funeral service is for everyone who knew the deceased, children as well as adults.  Often children can find it very helpful to be present.

The Committal

The final part of the service is the committal of the person’s earthly body to be cremated or buried.

When the service in church is followed by burial in the cemetery, the prayer of committal takes place at the graveside.

Where there is a cremation, this prayer of committal can take place at the crematorium or at the end of the service in church.  Many people choose to have the complete service in church, including this final act, in the surroundings that would have been familiar to the deceased and with the whole congregation present and able to participate.

St. Mary’s Churchyard is not available for burials, but cremated remains may be buried in our Garden of Remembrance, situated in a quiet area of the churchyard.

Directions to St Mary's Church and Parking

Apart from the hearse and limousines for mourners unfortunately there is no space for parking at the church except for 2 spaces for those with limited mobility. Details of how to find us and parking can be found here.

Download our leaflet on Death and Bereavement.

See the step by step guide to funerals on the Church of England website.


Grieving seldom ends with the funeral.  It is natural to feel the emptiness for a considerable time afterwards.  St Mary’s Church may be able to offer you some comfort at this time.  Please contact us if you would appreciate a call.

The church is open every day.  The Chapel of Remembrance (towards the altar end of the church on the right-hand side) provides a focus for quiet prayer and reflection at any time.  Some people find it helpful to write a prayer or light a candle. Flowers may also be placed here after a funeral service, or at any time of special remembrance.

There is a Book of Remembrance in the Chapel, in which the name of your loved one may be entered under whatever date in the year you feel appropriate.  Download this form if you would like to have details of your loved one included.

Every autumn (on the Sunday nearest to All Souls’ Day, either at the end of October or the beginning of November) we hold a service of remembrance to give thanks for all those whom we have loved.

"Jesus said, I am the resurrection, and I am the life;  he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die" - John 11:25-26

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" - Matthew 5:4

If you would like more information then please contact us.