Funeral Policy

Funeral Policy                                                       January 2018

We will always be here to help you through one of life’s most difficult times. A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, giving support before, during and after the service, for as long as it is needed.

This policy is provided to assist families in planning and providing a Christian funeral.

By having a funeral service at the church, all who attend will be reminded of the Christian hope and the assurance in Jesus Christ.

A funeral service at church will typically last around 30-40 minutes but unlike crematoriums there are no time restrictions.

There can be alternative methods for the conducting of funeral services. Commonly this would include:

A service at the crematorium

Typically, this will be a short 20-30 minutes service.

Seating capacity in Crematoriums may be limited.

Some people choose to have a Memorial Service in the church following a service in the crematorium.

Typically, this will be a service for family and close friends at the crematorium followed by a Memorial Service attended by the same group of people but including the wider circle of family, friends and anyone else who might wish to attend the service.


The funeral officiant will be happy to meet with the family to plan any funeral worship arrangements.   


Whilst at first glance this policy may feel restrictive, it is in keeping with legislation and it is hoped that by making people aware of the policy this will prevent unfortunate mistakes being made.


The Date and Time of Funerals

Dates and times for funerals are usually arranged in consultation with the Funeral Director and the Vicar based on the availability and the preferences of the deceased’s family.


Who Will Officiate?

Within the United Parish of Upper Nidderdale it will usually be the Vicar, Lay Reader or a Retired Clergy (with the Bishop’s permission to officiate)


Occasionally we are asked if a Clergy or Lay Reader from elsewhere can take the service? Any requests for another clergy or lay person to officiate at the service must be approved by the Vicar (and possibly the Bishop) as there are diocesan policies to be adhered to. If the next of kin wanted someone to assist the Vicar (or other authorised officiant) this can normally be easily arranged.  


Structure of the Funeral Service

A funeral service held in the church is a service of worship, celebrating the deceased’s life and the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. 

Generally, the outline for the funeral and burial service will take on a traditional Church of England format. There are no specified number of hymns but usually there are two or three


Opening Prayer


Tribute / Eulogy




Prayers & The Lord’s Prayer


Committal (The Committal may take place at the Graveside)




The family may suggest other items to be included in the service, in consultation with the Vicar (or other authorised officiant).   


Funeral Music 

Some people choose to have recorded music in the service. Whilst the majority of the time this will be fine, the choices must be approved first. Our churches do not have sound systems so the use of recorded music depends on the Funeral Directors being able to supply one.

The use of hymns is encouraged and may be selected with the Vicar (or other authorised officiant) in consultation with the family during the service planning process. Additional musicians or soloists may be utilized. 



We welcome families to display certain mementos or photographs of the deceased and his/her family but respectfully insist that no nails, tacks, staples or screws shall be put in the walls or attached to the pews.


Memorial Stones

Memorial Stones that mark the resting place of the deceased in one of our churchyards must comply with the Diocesan Churchyard Regulations and must be approved by the Vicar first. Failure to do this may result in the Memorial Stone being removed at the cost of the Next of Kin so please help us to avoid this. Always Use a Memorial Mason to comply with current regulations. They will always send the Vicar a sketch of what is being requested with dimensions and type of stone being used.

Equally, if you are replacing an existing Memorial Stone or Garden of Peace Tablet, these must be approved by the Vicar first.


Cremated Remains

In some of our churchyards there is provision for the burial of cremated remains. Please note that the scattering of cremated remains in churchyards is not permitted by law, they must be interred.

Stone memorial tablets marking the resting place of interred cremated remains are not permitted by order of the Chancellor, however there is usually a way of recording the person's name in a memorial book or picture inside the church.



There will usually be a collection plate for financial donations as people are leaving the church. Commonly, families will want to support charitable organisations from this collection. The parish is pleased to share the collection between the church and charity if this is the families wishes. This will usually be 50% Church and 50% Charity but where there is more than one charity the split will be made equally between the charities.