Funerals and Memorial Services
at St Mary’s Platt
If you have recently been bereaved, we extend our deepest sympathy for your loss. We hope that we will be able to give you the help you need at this time, assisting you to plan a funeral or memorial service that is a fitting tribute to your loved one and continuing to be there as a support, should you wish, in the weeks and months ahead.
There are several options available regarding funeral services. These range from where the service is held (Church or Crematorium) to what music (organ or on a CD) that you would prefer.
Sometimes a family will prefer to have a memorial service in the church at some point after a more private funeral service has taken place.
Although Jane Sankey, Reader, is very willing to take a funeral service in a local crematorium, you may like to consider the advantages of a church service. Like the service in a crematorium chapel, a church service is available to everyone, whether or not they or their families are church goers; all are welcomed. There is no difference in the cost of a service in a church or crematorium and the advantage of church services is that there are no time constraints. This can mean that it is possible to plan a service that may be better suited to your requirements.
Jane will be very pleased to discuss this with you, or any other choices you may be considering, with the intention that you are helped to make the best decision for you. She will offer to come to your home to meet you if you live in the parish of Platt, or invite you to the Vicarage for a meeting if you live outside of the Parish.
Please contact Jane by e-mail or telephone. (see under Contacts)
If you have chosen a burial or interment of ashes in the churchyard you will be thinking of putting up a memorial such as a headstone. Unlike municipal cemeteries, there are rules about the appearance of memorials in Church of England churchyards and it is important that you are aware of these before commissioning a memorial of any sort. The regulations are intended to safeguard the appearance of the churchyard for everyone’s use.
The Churchyard Regulations may be viewed here but the main points are summarised below:
Materials: A headstone must be in natural stone, or hardwood. Some stones are not permitted under the Regulations, including black, red or dark grey granite and marble. The stone must not be mirror polished, or polished beyond a good smooth finish.
Size: There are maximum and minimum sizes for headstones. Simple headstones should not be more than 1200mm (4ft) high and 900 mm (3ft) wide, or less than 750mm (2ft 6in) high and 500mm (1ft 8 in) wide. The stone must be no thicker than 150mm (6 in), or less than 75mm (3 in) in thickness.
Design: There must be no pictures of people or photographs on the monument, and the monument should not include kerbstones, railings or fences, or chippings. Headstones must not be in the shape of a heart or open book.
Inscriptions: Any inscription should include the forename and surname of the deceased, together with dates (or years) of birth and death. The lettering must not be gilded or silvered.
You may be surprised how many design features are common in cemeteries but are not permitted in churchyards. Please make sure that your monumental mason is aware that your memorial is to be placed in a churchyard not a cemetery.
Interment of Ashes
The Garden of Remembrance
If you choose interment of ashes in the Garden of Remembrance (which is on the south or right hand side of the church), the ashes will be placed under a square granite slab. The slabs are provided by the church to preserve the uniformity of the garden design and the cost of the slab is shown in the fee schedule below. The church will help you to arrange the details of the engraving of the slab.
Some people may wish to place ashes in an existing grave in the Churchyard. Others may wish to place ashes in a (full size) plot in the Churchyard, particularly if other family members feel that this would be the place where, ultimately, they would want their own ashes to be laid to rest. At present both these options are available.
Book of Remembrance
You may also like to consider an entry in our Book of Remembrance, located in the Lady Chapel within the church. The cost of a calligrapher to enter a name is shown in the fee schedule below.
The fee for a Funeral or Memorial Service whether it is held in the Church or at a Crematorium is currently £120.00. This basic fee is set by the Church of England and is reviewed each year.
If the service is to be in church the following fees apply:
|Heating (if applicable)||£60.00|
|Flowers * (optional – see below)||£40.00|
|CD recording of a Church Funeral Service||no charge|
|Optional presentation box for the CD||£15.00|
|Burial in Churchyard||£210.00|
|(following a funeral service)|
|Interment of Ashes in the Garden of Remembrance|
|Interment of ashes fee||£120.00|
|Cost of stone slab||£125.00|
|(cost of engraving slab is arranged separately)|
|Interment of Ashes in Churchyard|
|Interment of ashes fee||£120.00|
|(headstone by own arrangement)|
|Book of Remembrance entry||£23.00|
* Additional or special flowers can usually be provided by arrangement with the church flower arranging team. Please contact Mrs Allison Vallance – Telephone: 01732 883422.
You can download a pdf version of the above fees here.
When is the Service Held?
Many different factors will influence the time of the service, such as the distance relatives may need to travel and the decision to have some sort of family gathering. The principal influence however will be the availability of the crematorium, if you have chosen a cremation. Crematoria are often very busy, giving a limited choice of times and duration for services. Your funeral director will arrange the booking of the Crematorium, Liz will help you decide on service times to suit you if you have a Church service.
What Happens in the Service?
Jane will help you to plan the service, taking into account your preferences and any last wishes expressed by your loved one. Sometimes in a service there is a great sense of tragedy, especially if the service is for a younger person, but other times, particularly after a long life that has been well lived, there can be more predominantly a sense of remembrance and thanksgiving. The music you choose can reflect this. You may wish to have the organ and choir lead the singing of hymns, however there is also the option of playing recorded music through the church’s sound system.
Bereavement Service or Service of Remembering
Each year this service is held on the Saturday nearest to Christmas Eve, at 4.00pm, and those who have lost loved ones during the year are invited to attend.
The purpose of the service is to provide an opportunity in the busy run up to
Christmas for those who would like to take a short ‘time out’ to remember those they love who will not be with them at Christmas.
Christmas can be a poignant time when the loss of friends and family are particularly felt. For those with children in the home it can be difficult to combine their need for ‘Christmas as usual’ and our need to remember at times the person who is no longer present with us.
In this service Liz reads out the names of all who are being remembered. (Before the service starts there is an opportunity to enter those names in the special book provided.) It is also be possible to light a candle during the service in memory of the person being especially remembered.
Although Jane only sends personal invitations to those whose funeral services she has taken during the year, anyone is welcome to attend the service. A number of people have told us that they continue to come to the service each year because they enjoy the opportunity the service provides to remember a special loved one close to Christmas.
Coping with Death
Dealing with the death of someone we love can be one of the hardest things we ever face.
There is no miracle cure for our grief, no way to ‘magic’ the pain away.
Jesus himself wept over the death of his dear friend Lazarus
and we believe that Jesus weeps with us when we are mourning.
We believe that Jesus is able to offer the comfort and strength that we need,
if only we are willing to accept it.
All we need to do is ask.
If you are struggling with the pain of bereavement then why not take a few moments to ask God for his help.
Talk to God about the person who died and what their life meant to you.
You may also like to add their name to our prayer box in church
so that they, and you, can be remembered privately in prayer by one of the Readers. You can also ask for prayer through the Prayer Requests page.
(Requests for prayer are always kept confidential.)