A funeral is used to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God’s keeping. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church. funerals st stephen st julian st albans

Everyone is entitled to either a burial service (funeral) or to have their ashes buried in their local parish churchyard by their local parish priest regardless of whether they attended church or not. Please contact the Vicar or a member of the Ministry Team to discuss your particular needs.

More information for you

We hope that the following may help if you need to plan a funeral.


Although a funeral can be a sad occasion, it is also a time when we gather together to celebrate and give thanks for the life of the person who has died. A funeral service is therefore an important part of any bereavement.


Whether a person’s death has come at the end of a long illness or is sudden, planning a funeral may be something you have never done before. Funeral planning can therefore be stressful.


When you collect the Death Certificate from the Hospital, or from the Doctor’s Surgery, you should be given some help and guidance about what you need to do. Registering the death of your loved one will need to be done shortly after the death and when you do this, you will be given further guidance about legal matters.


Another thing you will need to consider is which Funeral Director you would like to make the funeral arrangements for you. This may well be a Funeral Director who has been used by your family on previous occasions or who has been recommended by family or friends. Only you can make the final decision. Contacting a Funeral Director is one of the first steps you will need to take in arranging the funeral service.


When you meet with the Funeral Director there will be several things you will need to discuss. At this time you will need to make a decision about whether the service is to include a burial or cremation and whether or not the service is to take place at the church, the crematorium or to involve both of these places. A discussion with other family members or friends may give you some ideas about this and whether or not the deceased had made any wishes known. The Funeral Director will be able to help and advise you about the various options available and also discuss with you who you would like to lead the service.


Wherever possible, a member of the Ministry Team will be available to conduct Christian funerals for anyone resident in the Parish when they died, including for people who were not regular churchgoers, as well as taking funerals for members of the church congregations. They will also help to sort out date, time and place for the funeral and make the necessary arrangements. Clearly there will be costs involved in arranging the funeral service and the Funeral Director should explain these to you. It is important that you try not to be on your own at this meeting.


Once the date, time and place of the service have been agreed it is normal for the person due to conduct the service to meet with you. At this meeting some of the things you will be thinking about will include a Eulogy/Tribute, music, hymns and readings. The latter may be passages from the Bible, poems or other writings. A decision will also need to be made about who might play a part in the service, as it is possible for family members or friends to be involved in many ways if you wish. It is helpful to have some ideas when you meet, but the person leading the service will be able to guide you.


Planning a funeral is part of your journey through grief. People grieve in many different ways: you may be too busy to feel any sense of grief yet, this is quite natural. Crying without knowing what has set you off is also quite natural, and very, very important. Talking about your loved one and recalling memories of them also matters. You may want to share some memories, while others you may only want to keep in your own heart.


Please remember that there are people around who can help and support you through this time- you do not need to be on your own at a time of stress and grief. The Parish has a Bereavement Support Team. If you are recently bereaved and would like help or support, please contact the Parish Office.


In this Parish we offer a yearly Memorial Service, usually on the first Saturday in November.  Invitations will be sent to relatives of those whose funeral services have been taken by members of our parish Ministry Team. However all are welcome to attend this service and you do not need to be invited to come along.


If you would like any further help or advice about planning a funeral please make Contact with a member of the Ministerial Team.