Arranging a funeral can be especially difficult, when a family member or loved one dies. We are here to help, assist and advise you to provide a unique tribute to their life.
The first decision to be made for any funeral service is whether it is a burial or a cremation. You will then need to decide where the service will be held. This may be at a church or place of worship, at a crematorium chapel, at the graveside or somewhere else. If the funeral service is to be held in church or at another venue, it can be followed by a short committal service at the crematorium or at the graveside.
These choices may already have been made by the deceased, either by discussion with family members or in their will.
The arranging of the funeral service involves many elements. We will take care of all of the details. We will listen carefully to your requirements, help you make important and difficult decisions, liaise with third parties, and ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible on the day.
Type of Funeral
We can provide advice on:
The funeral service
The funeral service is a way of saying goodbye to someone who has passed away. We are here to take you through the decisions you need to make to ensure you can arrange the funeral you want for your loved one.
Choosing between cremation or burial
The first choice people usually make is about the type of funeral service that will take place. Whether you choose a burial or a cremation, we will be there to make all the arrangements on your behalf.
Some things to consider about a burial:
- You may already have a family grave or plot. We can arrange for this to be reopened and the headstone removed before burial.
- In some areas, burial space may be limited or may be very expensive.
- You might want to reserve plots or a large plot if you or your family want to be buried close by.
- Woodland burials are now very popular. We own our own woodland burial ground at Fernhill Park in Wootton. For more details please go towww.woodland-burials.co.uk.
- You can hold the funeral service in a local church or in a cemetery chapel.
- After the burial you will need to consider if you want a memorial headstone, or a new inscription on an existing headstone.
For all burials there are fees involved that could include the following:
- Cost to purchase a new grave.
- Opening or re-opening an existing grave.
- Removal and replacement of any existing memorials, headstones, etc.
- An exclusive right of burial.
We can also give you advice on choosing a memorial and any local regulations you should know about.
Some things to consider about a cremation:
- It can cost less than a burial.
- The funeral service can be held at the crematorium.
- The service may also take place in a church or another location before going to the crematorium.
- There will be a strict time limit for the length of the service. If available, a double session can be booked if deemed necessary.
- You will need to decide the final resting place of the ashes. You can keep the ashes in an urn, scatter or bury them.
Supplying information about the deceased
In order to make the funeral arrangements we will need:
- The full name of the person who has died.
- Their full address.
- Their date of birth.
- Details of where and when they died.
- Confirmation of whether the person who has died had a pacemaker fitted.
Coffins and Urns
Today, there are many styles of coffin and ashes casket to choose from. You may decide to have a traditional wooden coffin or something more unique. We can show you what is available and guide you through your decisions.
Music and hymns
We are able to give advice on all aspects of music for the funeral service and make the necessary arrangements.
During their life many people say that they have a song that they want played at their funeral and the choice of music played at a funeral can add a personal touch to the service.
It is becoming more and more popular for recorded music to be played at a funeral instead of, or in addition to, more traditional hymns and organ music. Also live music and instrumental soloists may be requested, such as a piper or brass band.
Please be advised that if your funeral service is being held in a church, some ministers may only allow traditional music and hymns.
Poems, readings and eulogies
You may like a friend, relative or minister to say a few words during a service about the person who has passed away. This is called a eulogy. Writing and giving a eulogy is a way of personalising the service, celebrating the life of and saying farewell to a loved one.
You can prepare a eulogy yourself or you may prefer a favourite poem or other reading.
Transport for the funeral service
There are a range of funeral transport options available. The usual choice of vehicle is the motorised hearse, followed by a number of limousines to transport close friends and family of the deceased to and from the ceremony.
However, other types of funeral transport are available, for instance a traditional horse drawn hearse. We will of course advise on availability, practicality and costs on a range of available funeral transport options.
Choosing something more unusual can help make a funeral a fitting tribute to your loved one and the list above is not exhaustive of the range of options available.
Please discuss your thoughts and ideas with us and we will do everything we can to help.
The cortege journey
The hearse and following vehicles are known as a ‘cortege.’ We will of course discuss at length where the cortege will travel to and from and if you would like the cortege to take a particular route.
As the deceased’s final journey, you may wish the cortege to travel a special route to the ceremony in order to pass a point of significance to the deceased (such as a place of work or leisure).
You will need to decide who will carry the coffin during the funeral service.
Should you wish, this can be friends or relatives of the deceased, or we of course will be able to provide bearers to carry your loved one's coffin.
The task of carrying the coffin may seem daunting for those who have not performed the role before. However, we will give advice and direction on what to do when performing this important duty, to provide reassurance and confidence for everything to go as smoothly as possible. If you decide at the last minute that the role of bearing is too stressful, our team will always be on hand.
Funeral flowers and charitable donations
Flowers are associated with funerals as a way of paying tribute to the deceased and expressing sympathy to the deceased’s friends and family.
There are a wide variety of different funeral flower arrangements and you can choose specific types of flowers or colours, perhaps in line with the preference of the deceased if known. There are many types of arrangements available from bespoke designs, coffin sprays and sympathy sprays to wreaths, bouquets, shaped and specialist tributes.
We can give advice on ordering funeral flowers and can also record or collect the card messages for you.
Many mourners attending the funeral may also bring flowers along to the service, but in some cases families may specify that they want to restrict floral tributes to just the immediate family.
Many people prefer charitable donations in lieu of flowers. Our service includes the management of such charitable donations including, receiving donations, listing donors and forwarding funds to charities.
It is likely you will have a charity or good cause in mind who you would like to benefit from the money donated at the funeral. People usually select a charity relating to the deceased for example, a local hospice that they stayed at, or a charity linked to their cause of death.
If you are unsure about who to choose, you can donate money to more than one charity. We will be able to offer some advice.
Order of service sheets
You may wish to produce a booklet detailing the order of service. The Order of Service sheets can also include a few words about the deceased together with a photograph of them or an image of something of significance to them.
We can assist you with this. We can print personalised orders of service on your behalf and can advise on layout and design.
Many people also like to keep the service sheets after the funeral service as a keepsake or send them to those who were not able to attend.