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Funerals

   
 

The Churches within our parish are special places. They give the community the opportunity to share together in the important moments of life - the celebrations of birth and marriage, and the commemoration and thanksgiving after death. The churchyards that we have are also part of the remembering.

This page will give you information about:

Who to contact if you would like to discuss funeral arrangements

Christian beliefs

Details about our different churches, and their availability for services

Some helpful prayers and readings

Our Bereavement Group exists to give fellowship and support to those we contact

Guidelines issued by the Church authorities concerning our churchyards and memorials

Information about local funeral directors

Christian Beliefs:
As there are various different options for a funeral service these days, it is important to clarify exactly what a Christian funeral service is about. Other funerals (eg: a humanist service) presuppose no faith on the part of the deceased, and no afterlife. Here are some of the key beliefs that a Christian minister will bring to a funeral service:

All people are created by God, and therefore life is a precious thing.

The Bible promises that death is not the end

Jesus Christ, through his death and resurrection, showed that the power of death has been beaten. He promised to prepare a place in heaven for all those who follow him

 

Therefore, we will be reunited one day when, as it says in the Bible, ‘death will be no more

 

God promises to comfort all those who mourn

A Christian funeral service gathers these elements together. Whilst there is still sadness and struggle through faith, we can be certain of the promise of eternal life offered to us by God’s Son, Jesus Christ; and this is cause for hope and comfort from the tragedy of bereavement.

Locations for Christian funerals:
Funerals take place, in the main, in three places:

The local Crematorium

 

The Cemetery

The local Church

Which you choose depends on a number of issues, such as: did the deceased worship regularly at a particular church? Did they have any specific Christian beliefs? Did they leave any specific requests? Is there a family link with a particular church or area?

The Crematorium
Our local Crematorium at Crownhill has a light and pleasant chapel area, with both organ and the opportunities for CD’s to be played. Services run every 30 minutes on Monday and Friday, and at 45 minute intervals on other weekdays. It also has a Book of Remembrance, where you can have names inscribed, and landscaped gardens.

If you expect a lot of people may come to the service, or you want to have several tributes, poems and hymns, we suggest that you have a service in church first, before moving to the Crematorium for the committal prayers. This is because a 30-minute time slot can put time pressure on a service with many elements.

The Cemetery
In Milton Keynes, we are sadly short of grave-space. However, there are some cemeteries open - New Bradwell, Stony Stratford etc, and these are run by Milton Keynes Borough Council. There is also now a ‘green’ burial site in Olney. It is possible to have a grave-side service in one of these cemeteries.

The Church
We have five churches in the parish - all equipped to deal with funerals, although only Simpson has room for burials and cremated remains, and one other, St Mary’s Woughton, has room for cremated remains.

Each church can provide an organist and steward for the services.

The services would normally be conducted by the local minister, who would spend time with the family discussing the funeral itself. Our aim is to provide a fitting, positive thanksgiving service, which looks back with gladness and looks forward with Christian hope. We are glad to suggest suitable hymns and pieces of music, as well as allow CD’s of your favourite (appropriate) music, at certain parts of the service.

The service obviously varies from minister to minister, and occasion to occasion, but has these main elements:

 

Introduction and Prayer

 

Hymn (if chosen)

 

Tribute(s)

 

Reading

 

Prayers and Poems

 

Commendation and Farewell

 

The Blessing

 

Final Hymn (if chosen)

Readings, poems, and particularly tributes, are welcomed, as they develop the personal aspect of the service, and all these can be discussed with the minister.

If the church service is a cremation, the cortege of funeral cars will always drive to the Crematorium for the final part of the service.


Churchyards and Memorials
We have two churchyards able to take cremated remains, but only one still able to take burials. Although a wide variety of memorials have been allowed in the past, especially in Simpson churchyard, new guidelines have been introduced to ensure that our churchyards remain places of appropriate memorial and decorum.

In our churchyards we will allow:

Fresh flowers and bulbs

A 12”x 18” tablet in the garden of remembrance

(Simpson only) Headstones as agreed by the minister


In our churchyards we do not allow:

White or black marble

Plastic flowers

Coloured chippings

Toys and pictures

Kerb stones or fences

Plant pots

You may notice that many of these things are allowed in Council cemeteries, and this may influence your decision about the best place for your memorial.

Please look at the regulations if you wish to introduce a memorial

Please help us to keep our churchyards beautiful


Planning ahead
It is good to have thought through what you would like for your funeral arrangements. It means that your loved ones do not need to be concerned as to your wishes. If you have the opportunity, why not make a note of the following requests, to be placed near your will, or other personal details:

Burial or Cremation

Church service or Crematorium (if ‘Church’, which one?)

Favourite hymns (if any)

Favourite CD’s or pieces of music

Donations or flowers (if donations, state which charity)

Preferred undertaker/minister


Funeral directors:

H W Mason and Sons

01908-642700

Matthews and Son

01908-372700

Co-op Funeral Services

01908-646424

Green Burial Company

01234-241808/240363

or consult Yellow Pages