How do I arrange a Funeral at St. Elphin’s Church?
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.
Everyone who lives within the ecclesiastical parish of St. Elphin’s (comprising Howley& Fairfield) is entitled to a funeral service in St. Elphin’s Church by the Rector, or a fully trained and authorised member of the Funeral Ministry Team, regardless of whether they attended church or not.
Please speak to your chosen Funeral Director or to Arnold Wright on 01925 821048 or, if you do not know whether you live within the ecclesiastical parish, you can use the following link to find your local Church of England church: http://www.achurchnearyou.com
At St. Elphin’s, it is no longer possible to hold burials or inter ashes, as the churchyard has been closed since 1960. However, the Local Authority provides alternative places of burial at Warrington Cemetery and Fox Covert Cemetery, and the minister can carry out the burial there instead of the church or crematorium.
The funeral service can take place either in Church or at the Crematorium. Please discuss these details with your Funeral Director, who will make contact with the Rector to make the necessary arrangements, and then either the Crematorium or Cemetery on your behalf.
Sometimes it can help to talk to a person who is not a member of your own family or a close friend. If you would like to have someone from St. Elphin’s Pastoral Team come to visit you in the coming weeks we would like to support you and encourage you in this. Please contact the Rector if you would like this to be arranged.
Although St. Elphin’s Church is often locked for security, we do open the church to visitors from May to Mid-September, on Wednesday between 2:00-4:00 pm and on Saturdays between 9:30 am – 3:00 pm and at other times during the year between 9:30-11:00 am on Saturdays.
Every year around the first weekend in November we hold a special evening Memorial Service at 6:30 pm for those who have lost loved ones in that year. Candles are lit for each of the people we are mourning, and their names are read out. We will send you an invitation to this service nearer the time. We do hope you will be able to attend.
You are also welcome to join us for our regular church services. You will find details about these on the first page of our web site.
The usual pattern of services at St. Elphin’s is:
8:30 am Holy Communion (said)
10:30 am Holy Communion (with hymns) with Junior Church
6:30 pm Evening Service (with hymns)
10:00 am Holy Communion (said)
(Occasionally, where there are major Civic services at St. Elphin’s, these times may change)
Planning a Funeral
Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helps in their grieving. Perhaps you already know something of what your loved one wanted. You may even have planned the service together some time ago.
If you are uncertain, the minister who will lead the service can help you choose suitable readings, hymns and prayers. If they did not know your loved one well, they will want to talk with you to build up a picture of the person's life, this may take only one meeting but sometimes it can be more.
Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide. Talk with your minister about what is possible.
For those unable to physically attend a Funeral:
Attached to this page is a copy of a home prayer service which has been put together for those hearing the news of a death, and/or on the day of the funeral for those not able to be present. It’s being written at the time of the Coronavirus 2020 outbreak when sadly, funerals may now only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows).
We recognise how difficult this will be for many and adds to the pain of a loss, and encourage you to discuss with your Parish Church Pastoral Team and/or ministers the possibility of a memorial service at a date in the future where more people can be present.
This home prayer service is about continuing the journey of faith, either for the deceased, who we now hope stands in glory, or for those of us who are left, who can recommit ourselves to live God’s way here on earth.
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.
Choosing a Funeral Director
You may already have a particular Funeral Director in mind, or you may be dealing with arranging a funeral service for the first time, if so, here are some local Funeral Directors, with whom St. Elphin’s Church deal with fairly regularly as a helpful guide, without wishing to promote or endorse any particular business.
Knox & Son Funeral Directors
43-45 Orford Rd
Maddock’s Funeral Directors
73 London Road
Cheshire Funeral Services
01925 697 256
Houghton’s Funeral Directors
53 London Road
Houghton’s Funeral Directors
216 Lovely Lane
0871 559 7798
The Funeral Service
The service will follow a clear plan. The focus moves from earth to heaven as the service moves from greeting the mourners, to remembering the one who has died, all the while asking for God's comfort and then committing your loved one into God's care.
The Outline Order for Funerals
- The coffin may be received at the door by the minister.
- Sentences of Scripture may be used.
- The minister welcomes the people and introduces the service.
- Authorized Prayers of Penitence may be used.
- The Collect Prayer may be said here or in the Prayers.
- A hymn may be sung
Readings and Sermon
- A tribute or tributes may be made.
- One or more readings from the Bible is used.
- A sermon is preached, which may also include a eulogy.
- The prayers usually follow this sequence:
- Thanksgiving for the life of the departed
- Prayer for those who mourn
- Prayers of Penitence (if not already used)
- Prayer for readiness to live in the light of eternity
- A hymn may be sung
Commendation and Farewell
- The deceased person is commended to God with authorized words.
- The body is committed to its resting place with authorized words.
- The service may end with a blessing.