Wherever you live, wherever the funeral takes places, whatever your link to the person who has died, the Church of England is available for you afterwards. Whether the funeral has happened recently or many years ago, discover here the different ways in which a local church is there for you.
A place to be: sometimes after a funeral all that is needed is a place to sit and think. All over the country churches are open all day, every day, and anyone can walk in and take a few moments in the peace and quiet. It might be in the middle of a busy High Street or at the end of a lane on a country walk, but wherever you are, it’s a place for you.
A place to pray: many churches have small chapels or spaces set aside for personal prayer. These often include a place to light a candle, or even write a short note to leave so others can also pray for you and your needs later that day or week. Simply lighting a candle is an act of prayer. Simply pause for a moment and hold your needs before God.
A place to talk: sometimes a funeral prompts big questions about life and death. The vicar or other minister in your local church is there to listen to your thoughts, and help you make sense of what has happened. There are usually contact details on a noticeboard or in a church newsletter. The Church of England has centuries of experience in thinking about life and death, so it’s a good place to take your questions.
A place to go: Every Sunday, and sometimes in the week, Christians gather together in local churches to give thanks to God, to pray, and to know God’s strength for the week ahead. Everyone is welcome – check out the times of church services near you and go along. You might find new friends as well as the peace and comfort of God’s presence.
Each person is unique – in personality and in life experience. A Church of England funeral allows you to give thanks for the unique person you knew and loved in a way that gives comfort and hope. Read on to find out how the funeral you are organising or going to will be special.
The message at all Church of England funerals, wherever they happen, is one of hope. Although there is sadness because someone you know and love has died, in every Church of England funeral there will also be a message of hope in life after death. Read more about that hope.
First steps in arranging a funeral
There is so much to think about when someone has died. There are formalities to complete, people need to be told, and a funeral to organise. Find out here some of the first things that need to happen, and discover practical things you can do to make a start.