It is inevitable that death touches all of us, and the Church has an important place in supporting people through this difficult time. A funeral marks the close of a human life on earth. As well as being a time to say goodbye to our loved ones and express our grief, it is also the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate and give thanks for the life that has ended and commend the person into God’s keeping.
We can also thank God that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus death need not have the final word and that eternal life is available to us all.
A. Funeral services can take place in St Lukes church or in the chapels at the local authority’s crematoria and cemeteries.
A. A service at a local crematorium / cemetery chapel is normally restricted to a maximum time of 35 minutes. Many people feel this provides insufficient time, and also leads to the whole service feeling rushed. By coming into church prior to the committal service there is a greater opportunity to commemorate your loved one’s life more fully, as we can agree a length of time for the service which fits your requirements.
Another practical advantage is the larger size of a church compared to most crematorium / cemetery chapels. If you are expecting many mourners to the funeral, we are able to accommodate a much larger congregation.
Q3: Do you have to live in the parish to have a funeral in church?
A. People who live in the parish have a right to have their funeral at the parish church , even if they have not been a church-goer during their life.
Q4: What about ashes – can they be buried in the churchyard?
A. There is a Garden of Remembrance for cremated remains at St Lukes Parish Church. Permission needs be granted by the Vicar for the ashes of those who have died to be buried in the Garden. Normally, however, this is only granted where there has been a connection with the church. There is a charge for burial of ashes in the Garden of Remembrance. To enquire about this, please contact the Vicar.
Q5: How do I arrange a funeral?
A. You will firstly need to appoint a funeral director who will then liaise with the clergy on your behalf to agree the date and time of the funeral. If you want a particular person from the clergy team to take the service, this should be done before any other funeral arrangements are made to make sure they are available.
The clergy see the taking of funerals and the comforting of those who mourn as important parts of their work. They give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what they want included in the funeral service and helping them to arrange it. To arrange the details of the service, the Vicar will make an appointment to meet up with you. If they did not know the dead person, then they will ask you to provide details.
Q6: What does it cost?
A. Most of the costs of the funeral will be incurred with the funeral director. There are separate fees for the church, but these are normally settled by the funeral director on your behalf and then passed on to you.
The church fees are set annually by the Central Church authorities and go towards the church upkeep and ministerial fees. The fees vary from year to year and there may be a small increase in fees each year. For details of fees please contact the Vicar.
Q7: Where can I find more information?
A. The main Church of England website gives some general information on funerals
You may find the following government information helpful: www.gov.uk
- St Lukes Road
- Tunbridge Wells
- TN4 9JH