Covid 19 – Changes to Funeral services
Following government and Church of England announcements, funerals may now only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.
If there are any further changes, we will let you know. If you have any questions, please call the Church Office.
Updated 25th March 2020
Should you ever need to organise a funeral, a burial, or a service of thanksgiving, we will seek to give you support and help you put together a suitable service. In the event of a death and the need to organise funeral do not hesitate to contact Rev’d Alex Bienfait (01580 291454) for advice and support. One of your first steps should also be to make contact with a funeral director; details of local funeral directors given below.
Whether or not you are considering a Burial or Cremation, we hope you will consider holding a service in Biddenden Church or Smarden Church. Holding a service in church offers significant advantages:
- No time pressure: In church we can organise an unhurried service to your wishes, unlike a Crematorium where the minister always needs to watch the clock. In church we can more easily include Eulogies, music and hymns.
- Beautiful surroundings: With the benefit of two beautiful medieval churches, a service in church also offers a more prayerful atmosphere, than the functional surroundings of the Crematorium;
- At the heart of the local community. This makes much easier for local people to attend.
There also other options which your funeral director can discuss with you.
To help you plan arrangements for any reception or wake after the funeral beware that the round trip to and back from the Crematorium is rarely less than an hour.
There are number of options you might like to discuss with your funeral director:
- A funeral service in church followed immediately by a ceremony at the Crematorium, followed by a reception or “wake”.
- A funeral or thanksgiving service in church, followed by reception or “wake” after the service. Many people are not aware you do not need go immediately to the Crematorium, that you can delay this. The advantage is that this enables family friends to remain together, and support each other immediately after the service. The Crematorium ceremony later in the day is then often a small intimate gathering of immediate family, or close friends.
- One final option to think about, after a funeral or thanksgiving service in church, it is not necessary accompany the coffin to the Crematorium. You should beware that ceremony at the Crematorium after a service in church is very short. An option is to include the prayer of committal within the Thanksgiving/Funeral service. You then entrust to the Funeral director to reverently accompany the coffin to the Crematorium. This allows family friends to remain together, and support each other immediately after the service;
Biddenden Churchyard is open for burials;
Smarden Cemetery (Overseen by the Parish Council) is available for burials, but the churchyard in Smarden is closed for burial of coffins.
For further details please see our Burials page.
ORGANISING YOUR SERVICE
Here is an outline structure for a typical service in church for thanksgiving or funeral. In the accompanying booklet Preparing for a funeral booklet you will also find suggestions for Bible readings, guidance for writing a eulogy, and suggestions for hymns and organ music.
HYMN – optional
HYMN – optional
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name
thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
HYMN – optional
Prayer of commendation
Prayer of committal
T.W. Fuggle and Sons
20 Ashford Road
Tenterden, Kent TN30 6QU
Tel: 01580 763340
A W Court
Kent ME17 2AP
Tel: 01622 850840
AW Court’s website
J.Perigoe & Son
Kent TN17 3EF
Tel: 01580 713636 or 01797 260316
J Perigoe’s website