Funerals and Memorial Services

Funerals are obviously a very important aspect of our Christian ministry at St Michael’s and St Mary’s. Our faith in Jesus Christ, who himself rose from the dead, enables us to point those we care for to a God of hope and love.

Can anyone have a funeral conducted by a minister from St. Mary’s or St. Michael’s?

We are pleased to conduct funerals at the church or a crematorium for any resident of the parish, regular worshippers and those registered on our electoral roll. Sometimes we minister at funerals for those who live beyond the parish boundaries if the deceased or their family has a strong connection with the church. For example, a long-standing parishioner who moved away but whose family still worship at the church. We would conduct a funeral for someone from outside the parish whose body will be interred in an existing grave or ashes plot which was originally dug for two.

Can I be buried at St Mary’s or St. Michael’s?

Yes, we can conduct a burial or and internment of ashes if you are a resident of the parish or are a member of this congregation and on the electoral roll.   Burial space in the church grounds is limited and normally only available to long standing members of the congregation and the parish, or to those who have a reserved space in the existing grave of a loved one, normally a spouse.

Since 1949 additional burial space has been available in the quiet and peaceful Betchworth Burial ground whihc is tucked away behind the Walled Garden.  This is not restricted in the same way and is managed by the Parish council.   Families and their representative my obtain further information from the Parish Clerk, Jacquie Sims 01737 844831 and www.betchworth-pc.gov.uk.

Can I reserve a burial space at St. Mary’s or St. Michael’s?

We are sorry that it this is no longer possible to reserve a specific burial plot. The obvious exception is where there is an existing grave and it has been planned that you are laid to rest with a loved one.

Is it possible for cremated remains to be scattered in the churchyard?

The term scattering is misleading, for it is not like scattering seeds! We offer “scattering” or interment of ashes into the ground. We have designated areas for this. The Ashes can be loosely turned in and then the whole is filled with earth and a stone may be placed in top. Alternatively the ashes are placed in a small box and the whole box will be placed in the ground. The undertakers can advise on the types of boxes and a suitable memorial plaque.

How do I arrange a funeral?

If you have just recently been bereaved, first get in touch with your local funeral director and they will give you all the guidance you need on the practicalities of arranging a funeral. You can contact the Rector directly or through your undertaker: 01737 842102. A pastoral visit can then be arranged at a mutually appropriate time.

The choices that may be to tailor the service may include:

  • Entrance music
  • Sentences of scripture
  • Introduction and Opening Prayer
  • [Hymn]
  • [Tributes if they are done by family/friends otherwise it can be incorporated in the sermon/address]
  • Confession
  • Prayer
  • [Optional Psalm e.g. Ps 23]
  • Bible reading
  • Sermon/address
  • Prayers
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • [Hymn]
  • Commendation and Farewell
  • [Exit music – if the service is followed by a burial in the churchyard or a cremation]
  • Committal
  • Prayers