Life and Death

The death of someone close is very hard

The feelings of loss and overwhelming grief when the life of someone to whom we are close comes to an end are perhaps the most difficult of life's emotions. Having people at hand to help with the grieving process and with arranging and conducting a fitting and appropriate ceremony can be of great help and comfort and this is a service that the church offers to the whole community.

Do I need to be a church attender to request the services of a minister?

Not at all. You do not need to come to church regularly, nor to be christened, nor even to be clear about what you, or the person whose funeral you are asking us to arrange, may have believed. It is often only when someone dies that we even think about God or about what happens when we die, and it can be helpful to know that we are always here to help. We are happy to conduct a funeral service in church or at a crematorium.

The funeral

When someone dies and we are asked to officiate at the funeral, we work closely with your chosen funeral director to make sure that the funeral service is an appropriate and dignified farewell to the person who has died, and helpful for family and friends

A funeral may take place in church followed by burial or cremation, or the whole service may be conducted at a local crematorium. Whatever you decide is most appropriate for you, a minister will accompany you through the whole process. We begin by arranging to visit to discuss with family and friends the best way to proceed and we try to make sure that everything that you wish to be said or sung is included, and to share some of your own feelings.

Following up

The role of the church does not end with the funeral. Grieving is a slow process and it takes a long time to come to terms with the death of someone close. For that reason we offer to everyone, the possibility of a visitor from the church to listen and to talk. Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger than members of the family.

Our visitors are not trained counsellors, just ordinary people who understand feelings and are happy to listen.

We pray for those who have died

We believe that when we die, we are gathered into the the eternal love of God for all eternity. We remember those who have died in our prayers because the relationship that we had with them is so important, and because an important part of them remains forever in our hearts. We will pray for you too, as you rebuild your own lives.

Twice a year, in the autumn and in the spring, we hold a service in church on a Sunday afternoon for those who want to come and remember their friends and family. It is simple and quiet, with bible readings, hymns and prayers and an opportunity to light candles in memory of those we love. We send invitations to everyone for whom we have conducted a funeral in the past two years (and that invitation can be shared with anyone else who may wish to come), but everyone is welcome and we advertise the date and time well in advance.

Burial in the churchyard

The churchyard was the traditional place for burials. St Neots churchyard became full and was closed for burials many years ago. But it is still possible for cremated remains to be buried in the churchyard. You simply have to ask the clergy or the funeral director and arrangements will be made.

We are also willing to say prayers at the interment or scattering of ashes in a cemetery.

If you want to talk about grieving or about funeral arrangements don't hesitate to get in touch with the vicar (01480 471297 or vicar@stneots.org)