On this page you will find information about Church of England funerals.

We hope these information will help you through the practicalities of this difficult time.

If you have any questions,

or if you need to arrange a funeral,

please, contact the Vicar!

Many of these information are taken from the Church of England website.

We offer our condolences to you if you have recently lost a loved one. This will be a very sad and difficult time. Funerals are a very important way of marking the close of a human life on earth. They are an opportunity for friends and family to express their grief, to gather up the threads of the life of the deceased, to give thanks for them and to commend them to God's keeping.

Arranging a funeral

After the initial news of the death of someone you knew and loved, there are some important things that need to be done:

1) Register the death. There is some helpful guidance on this on the government’s births, marriages, and deaths advice page.

2)Meet a Funeral Director. If you’re not yet sure which one to use, you can find one near to you on the National Association of Funeral Directors’ website, or on the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) website.
The first decision to make is whether you’d like a burial or a cremation. You might like to discuss this with other family members.

Then you must decide where you would like the service to be held. St. Paul's is ready to offer its church for the funeral service. Remember you don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to have a Church of England funeral – it is open to all.

If you choose to have a Church of England funeral, we will visit you to listen to the story of the person you knew, and will go through all the details of the funeral service itself. Please, share with us any of your thoughts on music or other special ideas to reflect the life of the person you knew.

Funeral locations

When someone dies, a Church of England funeral is available for them in their own parish, whether they were churchgoers or not.

If you do not know which is your parish, you can check it on this website, or ask your Funeral Director.

Church funerals

If you would like a service in church then first talk to the Vicar. We will help you to find the right service: Mass or Memorial service.


Families who wish to have a cremation may decide to have the whole funeral at a crematorium.

The Vicar can lead the whole service at the crematorium, or it’s possible to have part of the service at the crematorium and part of it in church. The church service can take place before or after the cremation service. The priest can also be there for you after the funeral and can offer prayers for when it is time to put the ashes in their final resting place.

Burial funerals

If the person who has died can be buried in a church yard or a cemetery, the minister can take the whole service outside at the graveside.

St. Paul's does not have a churchyard but we are planning to create a Memorial Garden where ashes can be buried.

After the funeral

Special services

There will always be anniversaries and special times when you miss the person who has died in a particular way. We have a list of people, living and dead, we pray for. Please, feel free to put the names of your loved ones on this list.

Requiem Mass

On the day of anniversary of death of a loved one you can ask the priest to say a special Mass for them, a so-called Requiem Mass. This Mass is said in black vestments, and in it the whole Church prays for the peaceful repose of the departed person.

All Souls Day - 2nd November

Every year on the 2nd of November we have three Requiem Masses in St. Paul's where anyone who wants to remember someone they loved can come to light a candle and say special prayers. It doesn’t matter whether the funeral took place in our (or any) church, this service is for everyone, and many people find it very helpful.

Big questions? Want to talk to somebody?

There are some big questions about death, dying and life beyond death that everyone must think about at some point, but perhaps family and friends don’t like to discuss it. We are here to listen to you. Anything you ask or say will be in confidence.

Your funeral plans

No matter how far away it may be, thinking about your own funeral service now and making your wishes known can be a comfort to you and your family in all sorts of ways.

If you’ve ever had to organise a funeral for someone you knew and loved, you may have realised how hard this can be. If you leave details of what you’d like included in your own funeral, it can make these choices so much easier for your family during an undoubtedly difficult time.

Do you want a burial or cremation? Do you have favourite hymns, music and readings? What type of service do you want and where? Eucharistic? In church? Do you have a preference as to who should conduct your funeral?

Once you have an outline funeral service written down, it’s important that you discuss it with others and tell them where you are going to file it. It can be stored in a labelled file at home, but remember to tell your family where it is. If you have no family, tell the person who is closest to you and who is most likely to have the task of organising your funeral when the time comes. Your solicitor can also store a copy for you if you wish but it’s best not to include your funeral service plan within your will. A will is usually accessed and read after a funeral, so your wishes would come to light too late.

Going to a funeral - and more questions

Going to a funeral is never easy. For more information visit the Church of England website about funerals.

Can anyone have a Church of England funeral?

Anyone is able to ask a Church of England priest to take a funeral for someone they knew and loved. Neither the person who has died nor the person asking has to be a regular churchgoer.

How can I ensure the funeral is personal?

We are there for you to help you to make the choices that can make the service personal. We are happy to talk about every detail: what happens and when, music and readings, prayers and eulogy.

Is it alright to take a child to a funeral?

If the child wants to go, and the family is comfortable with the decision, there is no reason why a child should not go to a funeral. It is helpful if a particular adult is able to be with children and explain to them what is happening.

What I am allowed to do with my loved one's ashes?

After cremation the final part will be burying the ashes. This might happen within a few days or weeks, or even later, and we can offer you a short service for this. You can bury the ashes in the churchyard, or use the crematorium’s Garden of Remembrance.

Do you need to arrange a funeral? Are you struggling with grief? Have you lost somebody? Do you need to talk to somebody?

Just call the Vicar or contact us using our website, and we will offer you all the support we can. Please, know that you are not on your own! 

Prayers for the departed

Prayer for the dead

In your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil
and bid them eternal rest.

Welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy

where you live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer to say on the day of a person’s death

O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the soul of Thy servant N…, which Thou hast this day commanded to depart out of this world, that Thou wouldst not deliver it into the hands of the enemy, nor forget it unto the end, but wouldst command it to be received by the Holy Angels, and conducted to Paradise, its true country; that as in Thee it hath hoped and believed, it may not suffer the pains of hell, but may take possession of eternal joys. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for a deceased friend

I commend you, my dear [name] to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.
May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints welcome you now that you have gone forth from this life.
May Christ who was crucified for you, bring you freedom and peace.
May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise.
May Christ, the true Shepherd, embrace you as one of his flock.
May he forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the vision of God, forever. Amen.

St Paul's

St Paul’s is a lively, forward-looking Anglican church in the Catholic tradition. We are affiliated to the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda and our PCC has passed the resolution seeking episcopal oversight from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

We are part of the diocese of Salisbury and the Deanery of Weymouth and Portland. We maintain very close links with our Voluntary Aided School, Beechcroft St. Paul’s. 

Get in touch

58 Abbotsbury Road



01305 771217

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