A Church of England funeral is available to everyone and anyone, with support given before, during and after the service, for as long as it’s needed. You don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to have a Church of England funeral – it is open to all.
If the deceased lived in South Creake and you want to arrange a funeral, the first thing to do is contact the Rector, Fr Clive Wylie.
We work closely with our local funeral directors, Sutton's Funeral Directors of Wells-next-the-Sea, whom you may find it helpful to contact at your earliest convenience. Their phone number is 01328 710301.
In order to avoid stress or confusion further to what you may already be experiencing, the following information will be helpful. In every circumstance, we will try and help you but there are laws and regulations that we are bound to follow.
In the event of a burial, there is an obligation by the Rector, Churchwardens and PCC to ensure the limited space remaining in our churchyards is used only for the people entitled. Our burial sites are beautiful and peaceful places and it is understandable why many people outside the community would want their relatives to be buried there. However to be over generous in respect of outside applications would also be to fail in the responsibility entrusted to us on behalf of the people who live in South Creake, who have a legal right and reasonable expectation to have their mortal remains laid to rest here if desired.
We accept requests for funerals, whether or not it is to be followed by burial or cremation, when there is a legal entitlement for the deceased to buried in the churchyard of the Our Lady Saint Mary South Creake or the churchyard of All Saints' Waterden.
These entitlements are that:
- the deceased died within the parish boundaries (irrespective of any other connection with the parish);
- the deceased was resident in the parish at the time of death, that residence being their main and permanent home (see note 1);
- the deceased was on the electoral roll of a church in our benefice at the time of deat
In addition to an entitlement, we will allow funerals (and burials, if required) when a long-term resident has had to move, because of infirmity, from their residence here to a nursing home (see note 2).
The entitlement for a funeral having been established, an application for a funeral service is accepted subject to:
- the grave being dug by the grave digger for the the Parish of South Creake;
- the grave being located according the parish’s graves layout plan;
- the current fees having been paid;
- the appropriate legal preliminaries having taken place (normally undertaken/checked by the funeral director);
- (in the case of burial) the officiant being in possession of the certificate of burial (the “green form”).
The Funeral Service
The funeral service with burial or cremation will be:
- according the the rites of the Church of England, either from the Book of Common Prayer or Common Worship liturgies (see note 3);
- for a funeral followed by burial, a service of around 45 minutes (see note 4);
- for a funeral followed by cremation, a service of around 30 minutes plus the maximum time allowance of the crematorium (plus travelling time to the crematorium).
Churchyards and Memorial Stones or Plaques
Headstones and crosses for burial plots, and plaques for interred ashes sites are strictly governed by the Churchyard Regulations for the Diocese of Norwich, which are set as ecclesiastical by-laws by the Diocesan Chancellor, a high court judge. Please note that memorials are not permitted until six months after the funeral; they are not to be erected without the permission of the Rector. A monumental stonemason will normally help with the application process. For your convenience, the regulations can be found by clicking here.
Please note paragraph 10.4 of these regulations, which refers to inscriptions; if in doubt, please contact Fr Clive directly for advice.
This does not include holiday homes or lets - unless, of course, the deceased died in this location. Proof of the deceased’s permanency - that is, main residency - in this community will be required (eg, an entry on the local civic roll of electors). Personnel involved in one of the national services (Armed Forces, Police, F&CO, Diplomatic Corps, etc) whose residency would be here if not for the exigencies of that service, are also considered.
This does not include anyone who has moved away prior to their residency in a nursing (or suchlike) home.
There are certain items within the service that will be open to choice by the next of kin of the deceased, namely, hymns and Bible reading (Holy Scripture being mandatory) and, if required, secular readings. All these are subject to the approval of the officiating minister, who has a responsibility to ensure appropriate content consistent with Christian sentiments. Musical requirements are also subject to the minister’s agreement; however, if such additions become too large a part of the service, they will not be approved.
Subsequently, if a more extensive religious event is needed, there is scope to hold a memorial service - that is, a service to bring together a collection of memories, character of the deceased and celebration of achievements. Should such a service be required, it would take place as a separate event, some point after the funeral and interment. There are no strict guidelines for this, other than the officiating minister’s discretion on the appropriateness of the content. It will remain a Christian service, have Christian sentiments and point to the promises made by God and enabled by Jesus Christ that we have salvation through the merits of his sacrifice, resurrection and ascension.