Having your Funeral Service at St James’ Shilbottle
What better way is there of marking the end of your earthly life than for your body to be brought into Church for a final time so that family, friends and neighbours can thank God for your life and discipleship, pray for you and commit you to God’s safekeeping for all eternity? We would like to encourage all parishioners (whether regular churchgoers or not) to think of ordering things in this way, prior to burial or cremation.
Preparing for one’s death
But even before that, invite the Church to be closely involved in your dying, if you know that it is upon you. We will want to support you with our prayer and practical help; you could have Holy Communion brought to you at home or in hospital; it can become an opportunity for engaging with the living God and allowing yourself to be sustained by him. In the first instance, make contact with the church (01665 575705) so that you can explore all of these issues together and even perhaps make preparations for your funeral service when the time comes.
There will also be other things to which you will want to attend:
- making sure that your Will is as you want it to be
- doing what is within your power to mend any broken relationships
- expressing your thankfulness to God and others precious to you
- ensuring that your family knows what your wishes are as your health deteriorates further and of your preferences about funerals, donations in your memory etc.
The Churchyard at St James’ has been closed for some years, though burials of bodies or of cremated remains can be made in existing family graves. We are fortunate in having a fine Cemetery adjacent, which is the responsibility of Shilbottle Parish Council.
What needs to be done?
- When someone dies, it becomes the responsibility of the next of kin (or executor) to register the death and to make funeral arrangements. Funeral Directors will be willing to do much of the arranging for you. Please give them clear direction about where the service is to be held and who should be asked to preside at it.
- Prior to cremation or burial (traditional or ‘woodland’), a service can be held at St James’ or at a Crematorium, led by our own parish clergy. Occasionally families have asked for a brief service at the Crematorium, followed by a Thanksgiving Service for all friends and neighbours in Church. All of these arrangements can be made between the Funeral Director and the officiating minister.
- The Minister will always want to meet with the closest family and learn more about the person who has died, and is more than willing to offer and receive suggestions about the funeral service itself.
- Bereavement is a process that can stretch over some years. The Church wants to offer its support and to encourage the bereaved to use this as a time for renewing their own relationship with God. We can offer friendship as well as pastoral support and spiritual comfort.
- Each year (usually at the turn of October and November) we invite bereaved families to a Memorial Service at which those who have died in the past year are remembered by name in the prayers. Anyone can also add names to the list of those to be prayed for, in the preceding weeks.
- Families can ask that the name of someone who has died be entered in the Memorial Book in Church. Donations and gifts in memory are also welcomed: please ask Cynthia Bishop about all of these things.
Contact Cynthia Bishop (01665 575705) for further information and enquiries.
See also: https://churchofenglandfunerals.org/