Arranging a funeral

Arranging a funeral can be especially difficult, when a family member or loved one dies.  We are here to help, assist and advise you to provide a unique tribute to their life.

Further information

Choosing the type of funeral
One of the first decisions to make

The first decision to be made for any funeral service is whether it is a burial or a cremation.  You will also need to decide where the service will be held, this may be at a church or place of worship, at a crematorium, at the graveside or somewhere else.  In the case of cremation there can be a service at a church combined with a shorter service at the crematorium chapel.

Whether there will be a burial or a cremation may already have been made by the deceased, this might have been in discussion with family members or in their will.

The arranging of the funeral service involves many elements. We will take care of all of the details. We will listen carefully to your requirements, help you make important and difficult decisions, liaise with third parties, and are responsible for ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible on the day.

We will guide you through the options when you have to make decisions about:

The funeral service

The funeral service is a way of saying goodbye to someone who has died. We are here to take you through the decisions you need to make to ensure you can arrange the funeral you want for your loved one.

Choosing between cremation or burial

The first choice people usually make is about the type of funeral service that will take place. Whether you choose a burial or a cremation, we will be there to make all the arrangements on your behalf.

Some things to consider about a burial:
  • You may already have a family grave or plot. We can arrange for this to be reopened and the headstone removed before burial
  • In some areas, burial space may be limited or may be very expensive
  • You might want to reserve plots or a large plot if you or your family want to be buried close by
  • Woodland burials are now available in many areas in the country
  • You can hold the funeral service in a local church or in a cemetery chapel. Some funeral directors have a room you can use for a service if you prefer
  • After the burial you will need to consider if you want a memorial headstone, or a new inscription on an existing headstone

For all burials there are fees involved which could include the following:

  • Cost to purchase a new grave
  • Opening or re-opening an existing grave
  • Removal and replacement of any existing memorials, headstones, and so on
  • An exclusive right of burial

We can also give you advice on choosing a memorial and any local regulations you should know about.

Some things to consider about a cremation:
  • It can cost less than a burial
  • The funeral service can be held at the crematorium. Most will have a service room or other appropriate facilities
  • The service may also take place in a church or another location before going to the crematorium
  • There will be a strict time limit for the length of the service. This will vary depending on the crematorium
  • You will need to decide the final resting place of the ashes. You can keep the ashes in an urn, scatter or bury them.

We can advise you if any restrictions are in place at your chosen crematorium with regards to the choice of dress for the deceased, or placing any possessions in the coffin.

Supplying information about the deceased

In order to make the funeral arrangements we will need:

  • The full name of the person who has died
  • Their full address
  • Their date of birth
  • Details of where and when they died
  • Confirmation of whether the person who has died had a pacemaker fitted. Pacemakers must be removed before the cremation.
Choosing a coffin or urn

We offer a variety of coffins and urns, choose from the traditional wooden coffins to more unusual wicker or cardboard coffins. Coffins can also include unique paintings and designs helping you to personalise the funeral ceremony further.

In addition, people sometimes like to place items or mementos in the coffin with their loved one such as letters, photos, or something that reflects a favourite pastime of the deceased like a book, sport shirt, dance shoes and so on. We will advise you on this.

We wash and dress everyone in our care. Some people like to provide us with items such as a favourite outfit.

Our funeral directors will carry out your wishes carefully and respectfully but, if you would like to help us look after your loved one, please let us know.

Coffins

Traditional

We offer a wide range of coffins from a simple cremation or burial coffin to the more elaborate solid wood casket.

Eco-Friendly

We are also pleased to offer bamboo, willow and cardboard coffins as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional coffins.

Eco Friendly Coffin 1 Eco Friendly Coffin 2

Bamboo

Our supplier of bamboo coffins and urns has strong green beliefs. All their products are manufactured in the most environmentally friendly way, hand made in China, in their company’s factory which we are pleased to say has achieved Fair Trade status.

Bamboo Urns sitting on grass under a bushfair-trade Logo

Willow

An elegant eco.friendly coffin beautifully and caringly woven by skilled craftsmen making each coffin unique and special. Willow is the ideal renewable crop, harvested each year, yet recovers to a height of over six feet when grown in the right conditions on the Somerset Levels.

Willow Urn 1 Under a bush sitting on grassWillow Urn 2 Under a bush sitting on grass

Cardboard

The simplest of all the environmentally friendly coffins and at one time the only alternative to the traditional coffin, rarely requested since the introduction of bamboo and willow.

Urns

The Devotion UrnThe Devotion Urn

The Devotion Urn is hand cast in brass with a beautiful Brushed finish. The base in covered in felt to stop sratching. This urn measures 11″ Tall and will hold the complete ashes of an adult (approx 3 litres).

The Athena Urn

The Athena Urn is hand cast in brass with a rich blue finish featuring gold banded detail.This urn measures 26.5cm tall x 15cm wide and will hold the full ashes of an adult.

The Purity Urn1The Purity Urn

The Purity Urn is hand cast in brass with a natural pure colouring and intricate gold bands.This urn measures 28cm tall x 15cm wide and will hold the full ashes of an adult.

The Ruby UrnThe Ruby Urn

The Ruby Urn is made from the finest Steel and has been expertly colour coated with a ruby red finish.This urn measures 24cm tall x 14cm wide and will hold the full ashes of an adult.

The Grace Wooden UrnThe Grace Wooden Urn

The Grace Urn is made of engineered wood with a beautiful rosewood veneer. The base of the urn is lined with velvet to stop scratching.

The Sanctuary Wooden UrnThe Sanctuary Wooden Urn

The Sanctuary Urn is made of engineered wood with a beautiful rosewood veneer. The inside is lined with velvet and the feet have velvet pads to stop scratching.

Teddy Bear Heart UrnThe Teddy Bear Heart Urn

An elegant heart shaped pewter keepsake urn, handmade in the UK.The Urn features a solid pewter teddy bear on the front.

The Butterfly UrnThe Butterfly Cloissone Urn

Including a mahogany stand this is a truly stunning piece of craftsmanship and makes a vibrant and individual presentation. Hand cast and made in solid brass each individual enamelled cloisonne is attached by hand.

The Eastwell UrnThe Eastwell Urn

The Eastwell Urn is made from Village Teak. This is a beautiful hardwood with a lovely grain. The Eastwell Urn is suitable for holding the ashes of an adult. The dimensions are 25 x 16 x 13cm.

Music and hymns

We are able to give advice on all aspects of music for the funeral service and make the necessary arrangements.

During their life many people say that they have a song that they want played at their funeral and the choice of music played at a funeral can add a personal touch to the service.

It is becoming more and more popular for recorded music to be played at a funeral instead of, or in addition to, more traditional hymns and organ music.

Also live music and instrumental soloists may be requested, such as a piper or brass band.

Please be advised that if your funeral service is being held in a church, some ministers may only allow traditional music and hymns.  Most crematoria have large collections of all types of music and most will allow you to provide your own music on CD.

It is best to let us know your choice of music.

Poems, readings and eulogies

A friend or relative may wish to say a few words during a service about the person who has died. This is called a eulogy.

You can prepare a eulogy yourself or you may prefer a favourite poem or other reading.

Writing and giving a eulogy is a way of saying farewell to someone who has died.

Obituary notice

Should you wish we will be able to assist you with the compilation and insertion of death announcements and acknowledgments in your local and/or national newspapers.

Some newspapers may dictate the length, format and style of the announcement. We can advise you appropriately along with an indication of the cost of the announcement.

The common inclusions of a newspaper announcement are outlined below:

  • Surname (this usually appears first)
  • The first name of the deceased
  • When (On August 15th 2008, the day of the week is usually omitted)
  • How (peacefully, after a long illness, suddenly…)
  • Where (at home, in hospital, in a nursing home…)
  • Age (only if desired)
  • Husband/Wife of (Beloved/Much loved/Loving Husband of…. Insert name)
  • Address (we suggest you just state the town or region – for security reasons)
  • Other relationships (Father/Mother of Grandad/Grandmother, brother, sister etc)
  • Funeral day and time
  • If funeral flowers are required (family flowers only or no flowers by request)
  • Donation details if being accepted (Enquiries to…. Or direct to chosen charity)
Transport for the funeral service

We have access to a fleet of vehicles to meet your needs and there are a range of funeral transport options available. The usual choice of vehicle is the motorised hearse, followed by a number of limousines of your choice to transport close friends and family of the deceased to and from the ceremony.

However, other types of funeral transport are available including:

  • Traditional horse drawn hearse
  • Motorcycle hearse
  • 4×4 hearse

We will of course advise on availability, practicality and costs on a range of available funeral transport options.

Choosing something more unusual can help make a funeral a fitting tribute to your loved one and the list above is not exhaustive of the range of options available.

Please discuss your thoughts and ideas with us and we will do everything we can to help.

The cortege journey

The hearse and following vehicles are known as a ‘cortege.’  We will of course discuss at length where the cortege will travel to and from and if you would like the cortege to take a particular route.

As the deceased’s final journey, you may wish the cortege to travel a special route to the ceremony in order to pass a point of significance to the deceased (such as a place of work or leisure).

Hearse and limousines parked

Viewing the deceased

Some people find it comforting to see the person who has died and like to bring a small gift or photograph to put in the coffin. Others find it upsetting to see someone they loved who is now dead.

It really is a personal choice and we aim to help in any way we can.

Our private service room

Should you wish to hold a private service before the cremation or burial, we have facilities to accommodate your requirements religious or non religious.

Funderal flowers and charitable donations
Funeral flowers

Flowers are associated with funerals as a way of paying tribute to the deceased and expressing sympathy to the deceased’s friends and family.

There are a wide variety of different funeral flower arrangements and you can choose specific types of flowers or colours, perhaps in line with the preference of the deceased if known. Here we show you just a small selection of the different types of arrangements available from bespoke designs, coffin sprays and sympathy sprays to wreaths, bouquets, shaped and specialist tributes.

We can help you with the ordering of funeral flowers and can also record or collect the card messages for you.

Many mourners attending the funeral may also bring flowers along to the service, but in some cases families may specify that they want to restrict floral tributes to just the immediate family.

If mourners do bring floral tributes to the ceremony you may want to consider what you would like to do with the flowers afterwards as it may be possible to donate them to a local hospital, hospice or nursing home for the residents to enjoy – we of course will assist in any way we can and advise accordingly.

Charitable donations

Many people prefer charitable donations in lieu of flowers.

It is likely you will have a charity or good cause in mind who you would like to benefit from the money donated at the funeral. People usually select a charity relating to the deceased for example, a local hospice that they stayed at, or a charity linked to their cause of death such as a cancer, heart or kidney charity.

If you are unsure about who to choose, you can donate money to more than one charity. We will be able to offer some advice.

Types of flowers

Single Ended Spray Pink flowersSingle Ended Spray

A beautiful single ended spray of pink roses & red Carnations combined with variegated foliage and Palm Leaves. Size: 53cm (21″).

Single Ended Spray WhiteSingle Ended Spray white

A classic single ended spray of white Roses, Lilies, Eustoma and Gladioli with dark green foliage. Size: 69cm (27″).

Calla Lily SheafCalla Lily Sheaf

A classic and natural sheaf of Calla Lilies and complementary foliage tied with a natural bow. Size: 64cm (25″).

Traditional Round WreathTraditional Round Wreath

Open round wreath with natural foliage edge including Iris, Roses, Chrysanthemums and complementary foliage. Size: Diameter – 31cm (12″).

Ray of Sunshine flowersRay of Sunshine

A traditional bouquet of mixed yellow flowers including Roses, Carnations, Bupleurum Chrysanthemums.

Rounded Lily WreathRounded Lily Wreath

A classic open round wreath of Oriental Lilies and complementary foliage. Size: Diameter – 36cm (14″).

Rose & Lily Delight bouquetRose & Lily Delight

A stunning hand-tied bouquet with Pink Lilies, Roses and delicate pink mini Gerberg, beautifully packaged for maximum impact.

Based Cushion white and yellow flowersBased Cushion

A classic white Chrysanthemum based cushion design with foliage edge, decorated with a spray which includes Roses, Freesias & Chrysanthemums with complementary foliage. Size: 43cm (17″).

DAD Lettering FlowersDAD Lettering

Loose based letters on stand, including Roses, Gerberas, Chrysanthemums and complementary foliage edge. Size: Height – 28cm (11″) Length – 80cm (31″).

Traditional Horseshoe of FlowersTraditional Horseshoe

Based Chrysanthemum wreath with red spray of red Roses and complementary foliage. Size: Height – 50cm (19.5″) Width – 48cm (20″).

Floral Letters A to ZFloral Letters A to Z

Based letter with Abaca ribbon edging and white Orchid spray. Size: Height – 31cm (12″).Traditional Round Wreath.

Traditional Loose Heart with rosesTraditional Loose Heart

Classic white Chrysanthemum based open heart shape wreath with Roses, complementary foliage and foliage edge. Size: Height – 38cm (15″) Length – 37cm (14″).

Order of Service sheets

You may wish to produce booklets or leaflets detailing the order of service. The Order of Service sheets can also include a few words about the deceased and photograph of them or an image of something of significance to them.

We can to assist you with this. We can print personalised orders of service on your behalf and can advise on layout and design based on what they have produced previously.

Many people also like to keep the service sheets after the funeral service as a keepsake or to send them to those who were not able to attend.