Death is the only guaranteed certainty about life. It is something that can happen when you are young or old; it can be expected or sudden; it can be a tragedy or a release. Nobody knows for certain what happens when you die, but Christians believe that God's love and power extend over all creation. Every life, including our own, is precious to God.
Christians have always believed that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Christ over death. Even those who share such faith find that there is a real sense of loss at the death of a loved one. We will each have had our own experiences of their life and death, with different memories and different feelings of love, grief and respect.
The funeral service is an occasion to express our faith and our feelings as we say farewell, to acknowledge our loss and our sorrow, and to reflect on our own mortality. The church offers funeral services as a way of providing support and consolation to those who mourn.
Living with loss
If you have recently been bereaved, the clergy and people of St Anne's want to assure you that we will do all we can to make this difficult time more bearable for you.
If you are visiting this page to enquire about funerals or support after bereavement, please contact the vicar via the contact us page or at church on Sundays or during the week. If you have already arranged a funeral director, mention to them that you would like to be put in contact with someone from St Anne's and they will help you to make arrangements.
As soon as you have made contact with us about arranging a funeral, the minister taking the service will be available to talk with you about anything that concerns you, particularly, of course, planning the funeral itself, but also thinking beyond the day of the funeral to the weeks and months ahead.
Some questions may be better answered by the funeral directors, but we will do our best to offer helpful and reassuring advice or information whenever you need it.
If you don’t know where to start when thinking about the service, there are plenty of suggestions for music, hymns and readings. We hope this resource will be helpful, but the minister who is taking the service will be pleased to give you advice and support throughout the preparation for the funeral.
After the funeral
After the funeral the minister who conducted the service will aim to be in touch with you, but please feel free to contact him/her. Supporting those who have been bereaved through a time when there are so many adjustments to be made is an important part of our ministry.
We will normally pray for your family for a number of weeks afterwards in our main Sunday services and at daily prayers.
Some families make it a tradition to come to church after the funeral. If you would like to, you will be very welcome. Do introduce yourself to the minister taking the service at church when you arrive.
Many families often find themselves ‘being brave’ for one another, though sometimes it can mean that those who feel the loss of a loved-one the most have no-one with whom they feel they can speak openly and honestly about how they feel. That can be especially difficult when you don’t feel as strong on the inside as you would like seem to your closest friends and family. So we’re here for as long as you feel you need support. It is our privilege to be with you through this important time.
hear our prayers and comfort us;
renew our trust in your Son,
whom you raised from the dead;
strengthen our faith
that all who have died in the love of Christ
will share in his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.