Preparing for a funeral is often a stressful experience, and when you are grieving the last thing you want to deal is to deal with paperwork. Below are some resources which will help in the process, but you should find a funeral director a great help in all that needs to be done.

Who plans the service?

You will meet up with the minister taking your service before the day itself (if a meeting is not possible, this can be done over the phone).  This is a chance to discuss readings and hymns. The service itself will be that used by the Church of England, and you can find information about the this on the Church of England’s website.

Do I have to have a service in the church?

No.  If there is a cremation, then often the funeral service is held at the crematorium alone.  However, often families like to have a service in church too.  If you’d rather have no church involvement at all, then your funeral director should be able to advise about humanist funerals and other options.

Can I put a memorial or headstone into the graveyard?

Any memorial or headstone has to have approval before it is introduced into a graveyard. There are strict guidelines as to the size, lettering and materials which can be used which are produced by the Diocese.  You can see a copy of these guidelines here.

In addition to these regulations, there are some particular rules which apply to Brockhampton:

  1. The material used shall be only Sandstone – e.g. Forest of Dean, Serena (Italy), York – or  Limestone – e.g. Hopton Wood, Hornton, Nabresina (Italy), Portland.  Granite will not longer be acceptable.
  2. Carved inscriptions may be left natural or be painted black. Gold paint, if used at all, is restricted to the inscription of the deceased’s name.

Isn’t it up to the Vicar to decide what can go into the graveyard?

I’m afraid not!  It is up to the Diocesan Chancellor to decide what is allowed.  Hereford’s Chancellor is His Hon. Judge Roger Kaye, Q.C of  1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3JT.  A vicar can only approve a memorial which is in line with the Diocesan Regulations.

Who can be buried in your graveyards?

Over the years graveyards have become fuller and space is becoming limited.  As a result there are restrictions on who can be buried in the graveyards in the four parishes, and each parish has a different policy:

All Saints, Brockhampton

Only residents of the parish can be buried in the graveyard.  In certain cases exceptions will be made when a long term resident of the parish dies in a nursing home.

St Mary’s, Fownhope

Space is very limited at Fownhope.  The burial policy reads:

The churchyard at St. Mary’s is open only to residents of the parish, those on the Electoral Roll at St. Mary’s, and those who moved from the Parish to go into care within  the previous two years (save in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the PCC).  This policy applies equally to the internment of ashes and does not apply to burials in existing plots.

Holy Rood, Mordiford

The church graveyard is now full, but there is a civic graveyard nearby.  Please contact the local authority for guidance.

St George’s, Woolhope

Information to follow shortly.