To arrange a Funeral please get in touch with the Rector via the Parish Office (01932 856399)
or by email: email@example.com
Funerals, Burial of Ashes and support with loss
Funeral services held in St James’ Church are beautiful and welcoming, a warm place to celebrate life and family. The clergy can also conduct services at the graveside in Weybridge or another cemetery as well as at a crematorium such as St John’s Woking, South West Middlesex Crematorium Hanworth, or Randalls Park, Leatherhead. Talk to your chosen Funeral Director at the earliest opportunity about holding a service with us or one of the clergy leading a service for you.
If you ask for one of our clergy team to conduct a service, we will contact you by telephone or email to arrange a time to meet with you (or set-up a zoom meeting) to help you prepare a template service sheet (Word document) which you can then have printed and even circulate digitally to any joining the service online, who won’t be able to attend in person. We will help you choose music, songs, hymns and prayers, although please remember that at a Crematorium, the time available for the service will be limited.
It is a wonderful part of any funeral celebration to hear a eulogy, reflection or tribute and we do encourage you as a family to draw together ideas, memories, anecdotes and key life events. If it is not possible to include this in the service in the customary way, it will be something to send round to family and share later. It can also help at a time of loss to reflect upon more positive or happy memories and share them with others who knew and loved the deceased. Do talk to the person conducting the funeral for their thoughts and guidance – we at St James’ Church are always happy to help.
Our team are committed to inclusivity – everyone is always welcome among us, in life and death. We will help you through the planning process for a funeral service and lead a beautiful, individual and moving ceremony; a celebration of life, a service that both reflects the memory of the person whose life we remember and meets the spiritual and emotional needs of a diverse congregation of family and friends. Do feel able to talk to our team in confidence and know that your loved one will be prayed for during our worship in the week leading up to the funeral service.
Sadly, the inevitable truth about life is that we will die and we will lose people whom we love along life’s journey. At such times you may experience all sorts of emotions and feelings at the loss of someone important. Grief is a normal response to loss and can be experienced as pain, both physical and emotional. You may also feel shock, anger, guilt, regret, numbness or loneliness. You may have unanswered questions, or in some cases, your grief may be felt as relief.
Many people are affected physically by their bereavement. You may feel unwell and generally very tired. You may feel you need to retreat from the world and be quiet, or the reverse, you may not wish to be alone and find you can’t sit still or even become hyperactive. Indeed, there are many other ways that grief can affect you and each bereavement is different. The important thing is to recognise that the emotional shock can produce a physical reaction. (If you do have a recurring physical problem don’t hesitate to contact your doctor who may be able to help.)
You may be blessed with family or close friends to help and support you at the time of loss. At St James’ Church we are always willing to be your extended family of support and walk with you through your journey of loss. Your family may like to help you with the details and decisions about a funeral and there may be notes attached to the will of your deceased loved one with ideas of plans they had made in advance of their passing. You may also have previous experiences to draw upon or this could be the first time you need to prepare a Funeral Service.
The passing of a loved one and their funeral is usually a very emotional time, so don’t be afraid to cry or show your feelings publicly. We do encourage you to involve everyone in the family to take part in a funeral service (even when there has been a family disagreement) and we especially encourage children to be involved as this will help them later in life, when they will inevitably have to experience a funeral as an adult. (It is a good idea for a parent/guardian to talk with the head teacher of any children attending a funeral so they are prepared at school for inevitable and yet often very helpful questions.) Crying is important because it can help us to relieve emotional stress and there is nothing to be ashamed of in demonstrating the feelings you have for the person that has died. Sharing grief as a community also helps and we do encourage you to allow our wonderful and welcoming community of Weybridge to embrace you in your time of need and surround you with our prayers.
Remember you can visit St James’ Church any morning between 9.15am and 12.15pm to say a prayer, light a candle, be silent, or chat to someone. We are open every day at the heart of Weybridge Town Centre – we are inclusive of all. Just come in.
Allow time to grieve and remember
Please try and allow yourself time to grieve and adjust to your new situation and always take time before making major decisions following the loss of someone important to you. You may be surprised at the way the world keeps on going when you wish everything would just stop. It can be especially difficult as Christmas, or another significant family occasion such as birthdays or an anniversary approaches.
St James’ is available again for Memorial Services and for the burial of ashes of those who live in the parish of Weybridge or have a connection to the church, and while you wait to hold a service of celebration, we can store the ashes for you. A popular choice is to hold a Memorial Service in celebration of life, followed by the burial of ashes. It is a lovely thing to place the ashes of a loved one somewhere you know you can visit. At St James’ we have designated areas of the churchyard for the burial of cremated remains. In line with legal churchyard regulations, these are unmarked plots in the grass, although your loved one’s name can then be entered into the Book of Remembrance which is kept on display in All Soul’s Chapel inside St James’ Church. Their name would also then be read out and prayed for every year on their anniversary of death.
Those who live within Weybridge Parish or who are members of St James’ Church Electoral Roll, along with those who have regularly worshipped at St James’ in years gone by (or can demonstrate another connection) are entitled to have their ashes interred in the designated areas of the churchyard. Legal restrictions introduced in 2021 (known as Church Yard Regulations) prohibit any new form of marking the location, (no name stones or markers, flower vases or markings/name signs, even temporary) and ashes can’t be buried in a casket. However, we have a long tradition of planting spring bulbs such as daffodils and snowdrops with the ashes so that in spring the signs of new life can be seen throughout our beautiful churchyard. There are also locations where Rose trees can be planted, with prior agreement. Do talk to the parish office or clergy about one of these options.
A lovely way to remember your loved one is to have their name added to St James’ Book of Remembrance, which is on permanent display in All soul’s Chapel. Pages are turned regularly such that names from the Book of Remembrance are displayed on anniversaries each year. In addition, the names for Remembrance are added to our weekly newsletter each week at their anniversary and included in prayers of Intercession. To have your loved one added to The Book of Remembrance, you need to complete and return an Application Form. (Being added to the Book of Remembrance is not automatic). There is a fee for this service.
These are set by the Church of England, revised in November and published every year, and we apply these as set. In addition we ask for a contribution towards extra heating (September – April). There are also charges for the provision of an organist and the Verger, as well as clergy Travel. A Choir is available on occasion, upon request. To find out more about the charges for a funeral or burial of ashes contact the parish office. Fees and charges will usually be collected via your chosen Funeral Director.
It is not always easy to think about things after we have died, but it is a really good idea to share with family and close friends your own wishes, so that they can prepare a funeral that they know you would want. To help you with this, see the attached form. Complete it to the best of your ability and place it with your Last Will and Testament. You may like to give a copy to several family members and we are always happy to keep a copy here on file at St James. Please don’t see this as awkward – of course nobody likes to think about dying – rather see it as helpful for those who will make plans to celebrate your life after you are no longer living and able to communicate your wishes in person. It is often seen as a real gift to the surviving family to have a clear path to follow in preparation for a funeral.
Download: Planning my Funeral Service – Weybridge