Church of England Diocese of Ely


Coronavirus (COVID-19) - update 5th November 2020

(Government advice is constantly evolving. Therefore please be aware that things might change again)

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend.

Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.</span>

Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - update 3rd June 2020

Funerals can now take place in church buildings. However, there are restrictions in accordance with government direction along with the size and circumstance of the church and numbers should be minimised as far as possible:

How many people can attend?

The number of people attending funerals in a church will depend on two factors:

• the space available so a safe distance of at least 2 metres (6ft or 3 steps) can be maintained between households at all times during the service, including entering and leaving the building.

• the number of people that a minister feels they can effectively ‘manage’ during a service.

Churches may need to set caps on numbers in order to ensure this and might consider taping off some pews or rows of chairs. Alongside the member of clergy, Funeral Director and staff, the government has stated that only the following should attend:

• members of the person’s household

• close family members

• or if the above are unable to attend, close friends


As your local Church of England church, Reverend Rob Paddison is available to help you through one of life’s most difficult times. A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, giving support before, during and after the service. At Alconbury Weald we do not have a church building but have an arrangement with the parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Alconbury to use their building for funeral services.

The Church of England has a very helpful and informative webpage about funerals, click here to visit it.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - In these challenging times we suggest having a short simple service with all honour and respect for your loved one and for those who are grieving. Then, after the virus outbreak, at a later date have a fitting memorial service for them in church or another suitable venue where family and friends can gather together, grieve together, share stories together and be there for each other.

Below you will find lots of helpful information for our current times. If you have questions or simply wish to chat to someone then please do contact Revd Rob Paddison through the 'Get in touch' menu tab.


If you are unable to go to a funeral which is still happening with others attending

+ If the funeral is live-streamed then you could watch online.

+ Why not take a few moments to think, write, or draw some of your memories of the person? Later you may be able to share that with others at a special memorial service.

+ You can still pray at home – see here for some ideas.

+ You could also read a poem or look at Psalm 23.

+ You can light a candle online by following this link.

+ You could write a card to others who are missing the person you are grieving.

+ Remember that when this crisis is over [and it will pass] there will always be services for remembering organised by the church and anyone can go to these services.

+ It may also be possible for the local church to help you organise a formal or informal service to remember afterwards.

If you were unable to say goodbye

+ This is particularly hard, and the best thing to do is to talk to someone about your feelings. Many of the things above will also help, and there are prayers that might help here.

+Again, lighting a candle online might help, or light a candle at home and simply have a pray and think.

Holding important conversations

+ This might be a moment when you begin to think about funerals and about death. It could be a time to think about what you would want at a funeral, so do take time to talk about these issues with your own family and friends. There are ways to do this which you can find here.

+ And, if appropriate, make a note of your thoughts and ideas – even if there is no funeral service at the moment, you will be able to use these ideas to shape a special service in the future to give thanks for your special person.

A prayer for when you can’t go to a funeral

Dear God,

Thank you for xxxx, for all that they meant to me and others.

I so wanted to say goodbye, to be alongside my friends and family.

Help me to know you are there,

Holding all my hopes,

Holding all those I Love, especially xxxx,

And holding me this day.

Be close this day with your peace and hope.


Loving God,

Life is so strange just now – I don’t know what to do.

Comfort me with your presence,

Be with all who grieve

And give us strength and courage to face this and all the days ahead.


Impact on bereavement

Not being present when someone dies, and not being able to be at a funeral can have a big impact on grief and bereavement. Grief is a long and painful journey, and you may need additional support. There are lots of good websites and some information here.