Funerals & Memorials

Funerals and Memorials

‘Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust: in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life’

If you are reading this because someone close to you has died or their death is imminent, we will do our very best to support you at this sad and difficult time.

You can choose to have a funeral service in one of our churches and then to travel to a cemetery or crematorium for the final part of the service, called the Committal. It is possible to have the Committal first followed by a thanksgiving (memorial) service in church immediately afterwards. You may also choose to hold a memorial service later.

Your funeral director will contact us on your behalf but to be certain a minister is available please ask them to contact the minister before the crematorium or cemetery is booked.

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The minister will, if at all possible, meet with you to learn about the person who has died and to explain the funeral service to you. If you live away from Berwick, we can do this in a telephone conversation. If you are uncertain about readings and music, including hymns, talk about this with the minister. The Church of England funeral service has some set words which the minister will explain to you and some parts which you can choose.

People who were residents of Scremerston may be buried in Scremerston churchyard but Tweedmouth and Spittal residents are buried in Tweedmouth or Berwick cemeteries. There are woodland burial sites at Bockenfield just off the A1 towards Newcastle and also on the Mellerstain estate in Scotland. The nearest crematoria are Houndwood, just beyond Eyemouth off the A1, the new Northumberland Crematorium at Bockenfield or Borders near Melrose. 

If you prefer, the whole ceremony can take place in the cemetery chapel, at the graveside or at the crematorium chapel.

All of our churches can play recorded music but only Spittal and Scremerston have organs for live music.

Money and Funerals

There is a fee for having a funeral in one of our churches – which the funeral director will pay on your behalf. The amount is set by the Church of England to which we add just a small amount to cover heating in the winter months and the cost of providing music. 

We also ask that half of any collection you make comes to the church in which you have the service to help us maintain our buildings for our communities into the future. We will ensure that the other half is given to the charity of your choice. 

If you are anxious about being able to pay for a funeral, please talk with the funeral director and you can also find information about the government Funeral Expenses Payment here and a charity which supports people raising money for a funeral here.  Please do not go ahead with a funeral until you know it can be paid for as it is much more difficult to get help after the event.

Bereavement

Grief is hard and lonely, even for people with a strong faith. Whether you have faith or not, it would be our privilege to support you following the funeral. If you need a listening ear we can visit you at home or meet in a local café.  Do get in touch if you would find this helpful.  We could also pray with you if you would like this, although there is no pressure if you don’t want us to.

Even if you’ve never been to church, when someone close to us dies, we often start asking questions about what life is all about.  Some people start to come to church or one of our small groups and you’re welcome to contact us if you have questions. 

We usually have a Bereavement Service on the First Sunday in November. We invite the next-of-kin of everyone whose funeral we have conducted in the previous year (unless you ask us not to) but everyone is welcome whenever the person(s) died who you want to remember.