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Planning a Funeral

When planning a funeral there is a lot to think about. Grassby & Sons Funeral Directors will help all the arrangements go smoothly.

Nick Grassby says: “Many of our clients will be facing these circumstances for the first time and will be unsure of the most practical course of action. With this in mind we can also supply information about the financial, legal and more personal aspects of bereavement. We hope this information is helpful.”

The funeral service

As part of our service we will contact the appropriate church, minister, or person to help preside or officiate at the funeral.

If a religious service is required, the service may take place in a church prior to the cremation or burial.

If it is preferred not to hold the service in church, the full service may take place in the crematorium chapel.

Some cemeteries may also have the facility of a chapel to hold the service prior to the burial.

We would usually recommend that where possible, a minister from the parish in which the deceased resided should officiate the service. The minister will arrange to contact the family direct so that they may wish to discuss any requirements for the service which may include hymns, music, tributes and readings.

You do not have to have a minister of religion to officiate a funeral. If you wish a funeral to be a non-religious occasion, we can arrange for an accredited officiant or celebrant to lead you through the service.

In usual circumstances a fee is required for the person or minister conducting the service or ceremony.

Cremation

This service is usually arranged by ourselves with the crematorium of your choice, whose charges also include crematoria medical fees and the use of the chapel.

Most crematoria have the facilities to play music (either live through an organ or over a music system), show a slideshow of photos on chapel screens, record the service or provide a live webcast which can be accessed online by friends and family across the world.

We have all the relevant forms and will complete them with you and take responsibility for their delivery.

Burial

Burial may take place in a local Council run or privately owned cemetery.

Most rural churches will also have a churchyard which may still have space available for burials. Burials is churchyards are usually only permitted where the deceased was a resident in the Parish or an existing family grave exists which can be used for a further interment.

In a privately owned or Council run Cemetery, a fee is normally required to purchase the Exclusive Right of Burial for the grave that is to be used and in addition there will also be an interment fee payable. If the deceased was not a resident of that town or Parish, fees may be increased by the Local Authority.

Depending on which cemetery is chosen, the interment fee may include grave digging charges; otherwise there will be a separate charge for employing a freelance gravedigger to prepare the grave for burial

In churchyards, there is usually a statutory Parochial fee payable to the Church for permission to be interred in the churchyard. This fee does not include the cost of grave digging for which there will be a separate charge.

The interment and all necessary documentation is arranged by us on your behalf through the local Church, or the Local Authority for the Cemetery you wish to use.

A woodland or “green” burial is an alternative to traditional burial in a churchyard or private/municipal cemetery.

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Commonly, meadow or woodland burial grounds prefer the coffin to be constructed of material that is easily biodegradable or environmentally friendly e.g. willow, bamboo or cardboard.

Most burial grounds will not permit memorials so that the area remains in its natural state to preserve a wildlife haven, although some  may permit a tree to be planted over the grave and a simple wooden marker to commemorate the deceased. They may also have an area in the burial ground which is designated for interments of ashes.

Please speak to us for details and location of local cemeteries or burial grounds.

Cremated remains

It will be necessary to establish the requirements for disposal of the ashes after the funeral.

The crematorium or your local cemetery may provide a garden of remembrance where the ashes can be scattered, or they can be returned to us for collection by the family to be scattered at a favourite location.

Some local cemeteries or churchyards may have an area designated to inter the ashes in the ground, which can subsequently be marked by a memorial headstone or tablet.

The coffin

There are many types of coffin or casket available including, traditional solid wood, various wood veneers, bamboo, wicker and even bespoke coffins printed with a photographed design specific to the person.

We would be happy to discuss your requirements and advise on the relevant costs.

You can download our comprehensive guide to planning a funeral here