St John & St Mark Church, Bury


A message of hope

A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth, with family and friends coming together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. Although there is sadness because someone you know and love has died, in every Church of England funeral there will also be a message of hope in life after death.

Everyone is entitled to a funeral by their local parish priest regardless of whether they attended church or not. Please speak to Dave Thompson, our Vicar, on 0161 797 7652 for more information. Dave or one of the clergy team will be alongside you from that point on.

Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helps in their grieving. Perhaps you already know something of what your loved one wanted and have a special song or poem in mind? You may even have planned the service together some time ago.

If you are uncertain, the clergy can help you chose suitable readings, hymns and prayers. They will want to talk with you to build up a clearer picture of the person's life. This may take only one meeting but sometimes it can be more.

While some deaths are at the end of a long life, well lived, others will be traumatic or unexpected. The church has special funerals for children, or after sudden deaths, including suicide. The clergy team can talk you through what is possible.

Each person is unique and while the service will follow a clear plan there is a lot of flexibility within that to reflect the life of the person that you knew and loved. The focus moves from earth to heaven as the service moves from greeting the mourners to remembering the one who has died, all the while asking for God's comfort and then committing your loved one into God's care.

In many cases, arranging a funeral keeps people so busy that they don't feel their loss fully until afterwards. Grieving is natural and important and it may take a long time. Many find that others who have lost a loved one can offer valuable support.

St John with St Mark's has an annual memorial service, normally during the afternoon of the first Sunday in November, to remember those who have passed away and you may find it beneficial to attend.

The Church of England has a funeral website that is really helpful. Press on the picture below to take you there.