A church funeral marks the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to grieve, to celebrate and to give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. If they lived in Bedhampton or had links with our church, we will be happy to take their funeral either at St Thomas' or at one of the local crematoria and if requested, to bury their ashes in St Thomas' churchyard. They do not have to have been church members. Our Rector is happy to talk with you if you have any questions. You may also find this information from the Church of England helpful.
Planning the Funeral
Your first port of call is usually to a Funeral Director who will help you decide about the service and arrange a suitable date and time. Planning the funeral with family and friends can really help the grieving process.
You may know what your loved one wanted - you may have planned the service together some time ago. But if not, we can help you choose suitable music & readings and help put together a service which will celebrate and give thanks for their lives, provide comfort and bring hope.
Some deaths can be traumatic, distressing or unexpected, especially those involving children, violent deaths or suicide. Please talk with us - we can help.
After the Service
Arranging a funeral keeps people so busy that they may not feel their loss fully until afterwards.
Grieving is natural and important, and takes a long time. Many people find that others who have lost a loved one can offer valuable comfort and support. We hold an annual Service of Memories to remember those who have passed - everyone is welcome. The service is often held in St Thomas' on a Saturday afternoon just before Christmas.
If you want the name of your loved one entered in our Book of Remembrance, simply contact the Parish Office.
Questions of Life and Death
Each funeral and each death is different. You might feel numb at first then a mixture of grief, gratitude, joy and anger - perhaps all mixed together. You might be hurting with the tragedy of an unexpected death, or perhaps you are grateful for a long and fruitful life. Funerals can raise profound personal questions about the meaning of life and death - this is perfectly normal. There may not be much time around the funeral to reflect properly on these matters, but you can come back to them later and talk to us about your feelings and the questions and thoughts you have.