To all clergy and Readers
As you will be aware the latest national Church guidance is that funerals may now only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.
While it is vital that all of us abide by these instructions, the message from the Church remains the same that we will always be there to help people through one of life’s most difficult times. Although a Church of England funeral will now need to be done differently they are still available to everyone and we will give support before, during and after the service, for as long as it’s needed.
The national Church have just released some new funeral and bereavement resources. They include services for funerals at the graveside and at crematoria, plus a simple reflection for people at home on the day of a funeral. Please note that they are currently being offered as additional resources, and especially for use in situations where the time allotted for a funeral is brief. These services may themselves be adapted according to local pastoral need. We, and other key partners in this ministry, hope that, even within current constraints, all those exercising funeral ministry will continue to work with the bereaved to craft services that are personal and responsive to their needs.
With our thanks and prayers
Bishop Rachel, Bishop Robert and Andrew Braddock