An image of the sun going down in a country landscape.When someone we love dies, it is important to mark the occasion properly. A church funeral is an opportunity to give thanks to God for the person who has died, for all that was good in their lives and for the way in which our lives have been enriched by them.

It’s also an important occasion for us as those who continue to live in this world. For our own mental and spiritual health and the importance of the grieving process, it is vital that we have a chance to say goodbye properly.

Everyone is entitled to either a burial service (funeral) or to have their ashes buried in their local parish churchyard by their local parish priest; regardless of whether they attended church or not while they were alive.

The churchyards at Addington, Birling, Leybourne, Offham, Ryarsh, Trottiscliffe and West Malling are all still open (although the amount of space and options available varies). Should you require a burial or an interment of ashes, we would be glad to help. Our Clergy team are also available for services at the crematorium should you require a cremation.

Where do I start?

When a loved one dies, it can feel overwhelming. Not only are you dealing with your own loss, but there’s the need to organise a funeral service and deal with a mountain of paperwork.

We would encourage you to appoint a Funeral Director as quickly as you are able. They will be able to provide you with important help and advice and take a great deal of the administrative load off you.

The following Funeral Directors are all local to our parishes.

Usually the Funeral Director will contact one of our Clergy for you and make the initial arrangements with the church but please do feel free to approach our Clergy directly if you wish to speak with them; you don’t have to wait for them to make contact with you.

Once a Funeral Director is appointed and the date, time and nature of the funeral service is agreed, we will confirm which of our Clergy Team will be leading the service for you. That Minister will then make contact and usually set-up an appointment to talk with you. At that appointment, we seek to find out more about your wishes for the service, and to find out more about the person who has died. We are always keen to make sure it is all as personal as possible and reflects properly the life and character of the person who has died. We also want to support you and your wider family pastorally and offer any bereavement advice, prayer and counsel that you may wish to receive.

One of the good things about a Church of England funeral is the ongoing presence of our Clergy. Once the funeral has taken place, the Clergy are around for the long-term and continue to serve our local communities. You are always welcome to ask for their help or support if you are struggling with grief, even if it’s some months or even years later. They can pray with you and for you and also signpost you to local specialist bereavement support.