A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.
Funerals precede either a burial or a cremation. Anyone can have a funeral service at one of our churches. Sometimes the next of kin prefer to have a memorial service in church immediately after a private burial or cremation, or at another appropriate time. We do try to make funerals and memorial services as personal as possible.
For the burial of cremated remains, the churchyard is open to all. For full burials anyone living or dying in the parish has a right to be buried in the churchyard whether or not they attended church. We would also bury anyone who had previously lived in the parish for at least six months or who is on the church’s electoral roll. A next of kin may reuse a family grave where there is sufficient depth. There may be other strong connections to the parish which may also justify a full burial. For all burials in consecrated ground, Christian words of committal must be used by the authorised minister.
Memorial stones are encouraged but must only be commissioned once the vicar has given his written consent using the Diocese of Chichester’s regulations. The PCC has issued guidelines to encourage families to look after their graves in a sensitive way appropriate to a Village Chuchyard.