Arranging a Funeral at St.Mary’s
If you are recently bereaved we do offer you our condolences and hope that we may be able to offer you our support and help at this time.
As a first step at the time of death you may have been in touch with a Funeral Director. The director should guide you and usually contact the church on your behalf to make arrangements for a funeral whether that is to be in St.Mary’s Church or at a Crematorium.
You are of course welcome to get in touch with us at any time if you wish via the Church Office.
Under normal circumstances a minister from St.Mary’s (or one of the Readers) can, at your request, be involved in a funeral for all who live or have died within the parish, or worship at the church. At times we may be involved in services and cremations for those outside the parish, but we do regret that the residency requirement is strictly observed in respect of our ability to offer new graves to any who reside outside the parish. The parish boundary can be seen in blue if you zoom out on the MAP.
Once a funeral director has notified us of the request for a funeral, or if you have contacted us directly, then a minister from St.Mary’s will arrange to meet you to discuss the service.
Each year, on All Saints Sunday we host a special evening service to which you are invited at which we light a candle, name and remember those who have died. It is a very fitting and comforting service as we give thanks for our loved ones.
BURIALS and INTERMENTS
The Churchyard is open for burials following a service in the church for residents of the parish or for those being buried with their spouse who is already here.
The Churchyard has a special garden for the interment of ashes and a short ceremony can be arranged to take place at any time following the service at a crematorium. The funeral director may or may not be involved in making such arrangements for you.
The Churchyard is a beautiful place in a peaceful setting. It is quite natural being against a nature reserve and so it hosts a whole range of wildlife; from glow worms to deer, slow worms to badgers, ‘wasp’ spiders to a barn owl! It is a lovely place to come, sit on a bench, enjoy the peace and ponder memories whether with a smile or with a tear.
There is a leaflet to introduce the churchyard to you which can be found at the back of St.Mary’s Church.
The Churchyard is managed as the church garden by the Parochial Church Council with the help of volunteers from the congregation and community. The ‘FRIENDS OF ST.MARY’S CHURCHYARD’ meet for a working party to keep it tidy on the third Saturday morning of each month during May-October from 0930 – noon. Why not bring your gardening tools and join us in the fellowship of caring for the churchyard? Those who have the graves of loved ones in the church yard find the ‘friends’ to be a great source of encouragement and friendship.
If you would like a memorial placed over a grave then you can approach a local stonemason who should guide you, help you chose an appropriate memorial and who will then apply to the parish on your behalf. You are of course welcome to contact the vicar about this if you wish, but he often first hears of memorials directly from a stonemason with your request. Please note that the stonemason should follow the diocesan regulations in terms of the memorial application.
The churchyard is regulated by the Diocese of Portsmouth through the Chancellor of the Diocese. A summary of the regulations is in a Churchyard leaflet which can be found at the back of St.Mary’s Church. The Chancellor’s full regulations can be read in the church porch or visited online at www.portsmouth.anglican.org following the tab path: info>resources>online diocesan handbook>appendices (appendix III).