Why a funeral in church?
From the earliest days Christians have joined together to worship God at significant moments of their lives, including the end of the life of a loved one when they die. The death of someone we love is one of the most significant and traumatic experiences we go through in life’s journey and St Augustine’s and its clergy are here to help to support you at this difficult time. Our clergy, between them, have many bereaved families and see supporting the bereaved as one of the most important parts of their job. St Augustine’s, as the oldest building in our community and the oldest place of worship in Rumney is a fitting place for people to gather to say their last farewell to their loved ones.
If you decide to have your loved one’s funeral here at St Augustine’s you have the option of having the coffin received into church the night before. This is a short and simple service which means that the coffin rests in church overnight and you don’t have to follow the coffin into church on the day of the funeral. Many families find this helpful as it gives an opportunity for the closest family members to have some time with their loved one in church before the funeral. The coffin is placed at rest in the choir stalls, candles are lit and a short service of readings and prayers, lasting just over five minutes is led by one of the clergy. The priest will then withdraw to allow you some time on your own or perhaps you might like to light a candle as a sign of your love for the deceased and as a symbols of your prayer for them. If you would like the coffin to be received into church the night before, please let your Funeral Director know as soon as possible so we can take this into account when arranging the funeral itself. There is no charge on the part of the church for such a service, but there may be charges raised by the undertakers for their additional services.
The funeral service itself (whether preceded by the reception of the coffin into church the night before or not) is a service of readings, hymns, prayers, along with an address by one of the clergy. In addition, members of the family or close friends may choose to give a eulogy (tribute) about the person who has died. The clergy can give you help and support on choosing readings, hymns and music that are appropriate for the occasion. If nothing special has been requested, the organist will play appropriate music for you. If want some recorded music as the coffin enters or leaves the church, please speak to your Funeral Director about this and he will arrange it for you. If the service is followed by cremation, please bear in mind that the Crematorium chapels have high quality sound systems for playing tracks of music, so you might prefer to have organ music in church and recorded music at the crematorium.
Our clergy team will deal with you in your time of need with care and sensitivity and support you in the time leading up to the funeral. After the funeral, our clergy and St Augustine’s are there to offer ongoing support. Fr John, our Parish Priest, has worked both in a hospice and hospital setting, working closely with the Bereavement Midwife at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, when he was Chaplain there, supporting parents whose child had died during the pregnancy, was still born or who died in the first few hours of life. He has also worked with many families living with terminal illness, including children.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t want a church service but would like the clergy form church to take the funeral at the Crematorium or a Chapel of Rest?
The majority of funerals taken by our clergy go straight to the crematorium for the funeral service. When you have a church service, the funeral service takes place in St Augustine’s and then we go to either the Crematorium for the committal or to a cemetery for burial.
Can my loved one be buried in St Augustine’s Churchyard?
Sadly there are no new plots for burial at St Augustine’s, unless you already have a family grave here and where there is room to bury another coffin. There are, however plenty of spaces for cremated remains to be interred in the churchyard.
How much does a church funeral cost?
The current fees payable for a funeral service at St Augustine’s, set by the Church in Wales for 2018 are as follows:
Funeral Service in Church £103.00 – Payable to Rumney Parish, St Augustine’s Church
Officiating Minister’s Fee £83.00 – Payable to officiating minister
Organist £75.00 – Payable to the Organist
Verger £40.00 – Payable to the Verger
Church Heating from 1st November to 31st March inclusive £50.00 – payable to Rumney Parish, St Augustine’s Church
Burial Fees – payable to Rumney Parish, St Augustine’s Church
Cremated Remains: £154.00
Committal Fee: £21 (payable when another minister has taken the funeral service but one of our clergy is present a the Internment of the Ashes in the church yard.)
Arranging a funeral at St Augustine’s
After the initial news of the death of someone you knew and loved, there are some important things that need to be done. These are two of the more immediate things:
Register the death. There is some helpful guidance on this on the government’s births, marriages, and deaths advice page.
Meet a Funeral Director. If you’re not yet sure which one to use, you can find one near to you on the National Association of Funeral Directors’ website, or on the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) website. The Funeral Director will talk to you about what kind of funeral you would like.
One of the first questions they’ll ask is whether you’d like a burial or a cremation. You might like to discuss this with other family members if you’re not sure what the preference was of the person who died.
You’ll then be asked where you would like the service to be held. If you would like the funeral to be here At St Augustine’s, please let your funeral director know. Remember you don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to have a Church in Wales funeral – we are open to all. The service will, however need to be taken by one of our clergy and using the Church in Wales Funeral Service. The service, however, does allow for plenty of flexibility.
Suitable hymns for a Funeral service
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide (331)
All my hope on God is founded (333)
Dear Lord and Father of mankind (353)
God is Love: let heaven adore him (364)
Guide me, O thou great Redeemer (368)
I heard the voice of Jesus say (376)
Jesus lives! thy terrors now (112)
Jesus shall reign, where’er the sun (388)
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us (393)
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy (239)
Love Divine, all loves excelling (408)
Rock of ages, cleft for me (445)
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended (252)
The King of love my Shepherd is (457)
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want (459)
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son (120)
The following hymns are also suitable, but are not printed in the hymn books in the church:
Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side
Great is thy faithfulness
In heavenly love abiding
What a friend we have in Jesus
Readings from Scripture
Psalm 23 – The Lord’s my shepherd
Psalm 121 – I lift up my eyes to the hills
1 Corinthians 13 – The perfect gift of love
John 14.1-6 – In my Father’s house there are many mansions
Revelation 21.1-7 – God will wipe away every tear