If you are visiting this page because you have recently been bereaved, we want to offer you our condolences at this sad time.
Arranging a funeral
If you need to arrange a funeral for a loved one, you first need to approach a Funeral Director. If you would like the funeral to be in St. Helen's Church, or if you would like one of the ministers from St. Helen's Church to lead the funeral service, explain this to the funeral director, who will then make contact with us. A funeral involving clergy is always done in partnership with the funeral directors.
Everyone who lived in the parish at the time of their death is entitled to have their funeral at the parish church. It is also possible for other people with a particular connection with the parish or the church to have a funeral at the church, so if you would like this for a family member, please talk about this with either the Funeral Director or the vicar.
You may choose to have a funeral service in St. Helen's Church, followed by burial in a cemetary or committal at a crematorium (in this area this is usually at Altrincham or Walton Lea), or you may choose to have the whole service at a Crematorium, in which case one of our ministers would take the service there.
As soon as you have indicated that you would like us to take the funeral service, the minister taking the service will contact you, and arrange to come and see you. When you meet together, the minister will confirm the funeral arrangements with you; will talk about the funeral service and why it is so important. The minister will also ask you to talk about the life of the person who has died and share some of your memories, and will help you to plan the funeral service. It is also an oportunity for you to ask any questions you might have. You may be surprised to discover that, despte initial anxieties, many people find this time really helpful and re-assuring.
You may like to think about suitable readings and music before this meeting, but don't worry if this is not possible because the minister will help you.
Before the minister leaves, s/he will give you their telephone number and email address: if you have any further questions or concerns, before or after the funeral, do not hesitate to contact them.
Children at funeral services
Some adults are anxious about whether it is appropriate for children to be present at funeral services. Children need opportunities to grieve just as much as adults. Some children want to be present at funeral services, whilst others don't. Our advice is to listen to the child and, as far as possible, follow their wishes. If a child does not want to go to the funeral, it may be appropriate for the person looking after them to go for a walk or find a quiet space where they can share memories of the person who has died.
After the funeral
Supporting those who have been bereaved through a time when there are so many adjustments to be made is an important part of the Church's ministry. Please feel free to contact the minister who conducted the funeral service if you feel the need to.
Sometimes, when people have been bereaved, they feel a need to come to a church. Do contact us to find out about the different times of our services. You may find that the quiet atmosphere of our short, midweek Communion service is particularly helpful, or you may just want to come into church and light a candle in memory of the person who has died.
The Memorial Book
We have a Memorial Book in church which records the names of people who have died. If you would like to have your loved one remembered in this way, do contact the vicar.
The Memorial Service
Every year, on a Sunday evening at the beginning of November, we have a Memorial Service in St. Helen's Church to remember those we love who have died. Whilst anyone is welcome to come to this service, we send a speciific invitation to the families of all who have been bereaved in the previous year.
For more help with planning a funeral service, go to www.churchofengland.org.