A Church of England Funeral is a privilege to take; and for many still in a secular society, the opportunity for loved ones to express their gratitude for a life now ended but of infinite worth to God. The Bishops Advisors meet with funeral directors, clergy helping families at a difficult time, and cemetery / crematoria staff in local authorities to try to improve communication and work collaboratively together to provide a sensitive and responsive ministry.
Ultimately what we offer is not simply beautiful language, nor our heritage of timeless buildings, but the Easter hope of life made new in Jesus at a time when human beings face bereavement and loss.
What can our church do to help?
Thousands of families are still choosing to go to their local church for their loved one’s funeral so how can we help them at such an important time? Research carried out by the Church of England shows that what most families value most is the personal touch that a Vicar or Pastoral Care Team in a church can offer. They want the service to reflect the wishes of the deceased and churches that are able to be flexible and pastoral are a huge comfort to the bereaved.
- Think about what you can do in your church to help bereaved families before, during and after the funeral service
- What about providing a pack of materials with guidance on grieving, some prayers they can say and so on?
- What about holding a regular coffee morning for the bereaved?
- Could you put those who are bereaved in touch with an organisation like Cruse - www.cruse.org.uk?
Key Support Sites
There are two sites to help you and your church make the most of this occasion.
https://churchofenglandfunerals.org - this is a site you can share with anyone who needs to know about funerals
https://churchsupporthub.org/funerals/ - this is a resource site specifically for clergy