A Church of England funeral doesn’t have to be in a church – though it can be. The church minister can lead the whole funeral service in a different place, or, a church service can be built into part of the day, wherever the funeral takes place. We can be wherever you need us to be.
When someone dies, a Church of England funeral is available for them in their own parish, whether they were churchgoers or not. Funerals can be held in the local church or led by a church minister in a cemetery, crematorium or green burial site.
With over 16,000 churches all over the country, there will be one close to you.
Each church serves a particular parish – a geographical area.
To explore the option of having a funeral in a different parish, it’s best to first contact the vicar of the church where you’d like it to be. Visit A Church Near You to find a particular parish and the name of the church there. In the results of your search, click on a church’s name and the contact details should be displayed. You can usually telephone or email, and the vicar or another church contact will respond to your enquiry as soon as they can. If you have any problems getting in touch with a particular church, contact us for help.
Families who wish to have a cremation may decide to have the whole funeral at a crematorium. The service would take place in the building and the coffin would remain there afterwards for the cremation.
Involving the church at a cremation
A church minister can lead the whole service at the crematorium, or it’s possible to have part of the service at the crematorium and part of it in church. The church service can take place before or after the cremation service. The church minister can help you decide which is the best option for you and your family. The church minister can also be there for you after the funeral and can offer prayers for when it is time to put the ashes in their final resting place.
There are several options if you choose to have a traditional burial in the ground. These are burial locations your church minister can come to:
An outdoor or green burial site
An outdoor funeral brings the sights and sounds of nature into a funeral service. Whilst there’s some risk of bad weather, it can be just the right choice for some funerals. The coffin will be carried out to the burial site and the minister can do the whole funeral at the graveside.
Involving the church at a green burial site
If you’d like, a service can take place in church followed by a shorter time of prayers by the graveside when it is time for the coffin to be placed in the ground. It doesn’t matter if the burial ground is in a different location to the church. The minister and funeral director will let you know how they can help you organise this.
In a cemetery or church yard
If the person who has died can be buried in a church yard or a cemetery, the minister can take the whole service outside at the graveside.
Involving the church at a cemetery or church yard burial
Usually, there is a service in the church first and when the time comes for placing the coffin into the ground, everyone moves outside. If the cemetery is in a different place to the church, the minister and Funeral Director can help you organise this.