The death of a loved one is always a difficult time and we would be glad to offer you support and comfort, as you face loss or in your bereavement. Our clergy give a lot of time to visiting families, finding out what type of service is best for them and helping them to arrange it. They will never intrude but are available to everyone who asks for their support. This page tries to answer some of the initial questions you may have.

Who can have a funeral service at St Margaret’s?

Everyone living in England has a right to a church ceremony, no matter what their circumstances. It is normally done in the home parish so if the deceased person lived in South Wonston or was a member of St. Margaret’s, the service can be held at St. Margaret’s. If not, we can put you in touch with the appropriate local church.

What if we don’t go to church?

It doesn’t matter whether you or the deceased person have been church-goers. If you feel that a church service is appropriate we will do everything we can to make it a fitting and sensitive occasion.

What sort of service can we have?

You may choose to hold a funeral service in church before the coffin is taken to the burial ground or crematorium. Alternatively you may decide to have a private service at the graveside or at the crematorium, followed by a church service of thanksgiving for the person’s life. The priest will talk to you about this and help you to plan what is most appropriate.

When can the service be held?

Please contact us before any other arrangements are made, to make sure that a priest is available for the date you have in mind. If the service is to be held in term-time this is no problem at all, as we have an agreement with the school which ensures that school activities and funeral services do not impinge on each other in any way. Please be assured that the occasion will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

How much does it cost?

The Church of England has a set table of fees for such services – the clergy will be able to advise you how much it will cost.

Can we have a permanent memorial in the village?

Unfortunately there is no burial ground in South Wonston, so burials or the interment or scattering of ashes must take place either in a different churchyard (if you have a family plot), or in the city cemetery, or at a crematorium. However, in the chapel at St. Margaret’s we have a beautiful Memorial Book in which the names of parish residents who have died can be permanently recorded. There is a small charge to help cover the cost of professional calligraphy. You may see this Book at any time when the chapel is open (normally during school hours) or at other times by arrangement. Please refer to our dedicated 'Memorial Book' page accessed from the left hand menu.

What happens next?

We are here to help you through this difficult time. The Dever Benefice end of life/funeral ministry contact is Rev'd Dr Rob Rees on 07590 909811. We will arrange for a member of the clergy to visit you, if so desired.

If you would like to make contact in order to talk about arranging a funeral, please email the Dever Benefice Parish Co-ordinator Clare Fancourt at [email protected]