We all want that send-off and celebration of life we had pictured in our minds for ourselves and for our loved ones. Thinking about funerals can be distressing enough, but now we have to factor in extra restrictions and considerations which can seem overwhelming and unfair.
It’s okay to be angry about the restrictions that are in place. We know it is for our safety and the safety of others, but knowing that doesn’t help when we think that this is the only funeral our loved one will get.
What are the current restrictions?
These are being reviewed and considered all the time, and there is local variation as well. Broadly speaking you will be permitted to have a funeral service for your loved one to some degree. Attendance is restricted to 10 close relatives, and social distances must be maintained between those from different households.
Services are at the graveside or at the crematorium chapel; funerals in Church are currently suspended as our buildings are closed. You can still have a Priest and a Church of England funeral though!
Should crematoria become particularly overstretched you may find that a funerals will be shorted or at unusual times of the day.
What are we doing at St James's to help?
Support and prayer is at the heart of who we are as a Christian community – and no pandemic can stop us offering this. We continue to offer mass for the faithful departed and prayer for and with you during our worship.
The Church of England has waived its portion of the funeral fees and we have done the same here at St James, so for the duration of the lockdown there will be no charge from us.
The Church may be locked, but we know it will re-open when this pandemic comes to and end. We want to encourage you to think about planning a celebration of life, at some point in the future, where you can invite the family and friends you would like to remember your loved one.
There will also be those who can’t attend funerals because of their own health, or other reasons. We can put together prayers and resources for you to remember your loved one at home and join the funeral in spirit, even if you can’t be there in person.
Be in touch...
We might be isolated, but we don’t have to do everything alone. Funeral directors, ministers and others are here to help. Don’t let it worry you… just ask.