When someone dies
It is usually best to contact a Funeral Director (“Undertaker”) who will take care of all the practical arrangements for you. They will also guide you through the things you need to do at this time. You will find the phone numbers for all the local funeral directors in the Phone Book or the Yellow Pages. If you need help to choose a funeral director then we recommend you ask relatives, friends or neighbours about their experience with different firms.
Tell the funeral director if you would like to have a Christian Minister conduct the service for you. They will then discuss a suitable date and time, and contact the office at St Thomas’ to make the arrangements.
When we are contacted by the funeral director, the minister who is to take the service will get in touch with you, if you live locally we always try to arrange to visit you. At this meeting the minister will want to talk to you about the person who has died. He or she will also discuss with you what you would like to include in the service.
The Funeral Service
This can take place either in St Thomas’ church or at the Cemetery or Crematorium (in Coventry this is often at Canley). If the service is to be in St Thomas’ church then it must be led by a Church of England approved minister. At a council run chapel like Canley Crematorium you can ask anyone you like to take the service, but your local vicar from St Thomas’ will be delighted to support your family by helping in this way.
A Church of England Funeral Service will consist of (usually) hymns, plus any live or recorded music you have chosen, and memories of the person who has died (sometimes a friend or family member will say something, sometimes the family prefer to leave this to the minister). There will also be prayers and a Bible Reading, and a short talk about Christian Hope. Finally there are some formal words commending the soul of the deceased to God’s care, and committing their remains either to burial or cremation as appropriate.
Burials in St Thomas’ Churchyard
Unfortunately, there are no new burial plots available in the churchyard. However, it is still possible to be buried there or to have ashes placed there in existing family plots or in new plots that you reserved before the churchyard was closed in 2003.
We are in the process of creating a Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard, which will provide a new area for the burial of cremated remains and a place where loved ones can be remembered. If you want to be kept informed of news and progress regarding this, watch this space or register your interest by contacting us.
If you would like to arrange a burial in St Thomas’ churchyard please contact the vicar to discuss this.
If you have a family grave that is already full, it is usually still possible to have someone’s ashes placed there after cremation. Again please contact the vicar to discuss this if you are interested.