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:
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:
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:
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 CrematoriumOur 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 CemeteryIn 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 ChurchWe 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:
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 MemorialsWe 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.
Please look at the regulations if you wish to introduce a memorial
Please help us to keep our churchyards beautiful
Planning aheadIt 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: