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Arranging a funeral can be one of the most difficult things you do - but also, potentially, it can be a wonderfully fulfilling and healing event if it goes well, and you really come away with a sense of having celebrated the life of the person you loved. A funeral can be a time to pay your own special tribute to that person, either through actually speaking yourself, or by putting together a service of readings and prayers and hymns that really speak about the life you shared. It's very early days, and you should never feel you 'ought to be over it now' or 'ready to move on', but the funeral can be the gateway to the next stage of grieving - a time to acknowledge that this person has really gone, and a signal for you to begin working out how you are going to live without them.

Arrangements will usually start with the Undertaker you have chosen, and they can guide you through the difficulties and the pitfalls and put you in touch with the specialists you need. But if you have a particular connection with a Minister or other person licensed to take a funeral, or if you or the deceased person has had a connection with a particular church, then let the Undertakers know you would like them to get in touch with that person or that church to ask if they are free to take the service for you. If you have not expressed a preference, but want a Church of England funeral for someone, the Undertakers will usually get in touch with the Minister responsible for the Parish in which the deceased lived at the time of their death in the first instance, though if they are not free, they will then approach other local Ministers.

Here at the Church of the Good Shepherd there are a number of people who take funerals.  Any one of them would be happy to help you at this difficult time - whether that is simply talking about your loss, or by taking a service at a local Crematorium or Cemetery, or by arranging a service in the church before or after the cremation or burial.

After the funeral, you may find you need to talk to someone about your feelings or concerns. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.    We have helped set up a Bereavement Visiting Service here, and we have a small group of people, trained and supported to deal with people who are grieving, and we may suggest that a visit from one of them could help, if you would like it.   

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