I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown'. And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way

Minnie Louise Haskins, God Knows





A funeral service will reflect the personality of the one who has died and the circumstances of their death.  Feelings of grief, gratitude, joy and sadness often intermingle.  Sometimes, a sense of tragedy is uppermost, especially when it is a young person who has died.  When it is the end of a long and fruitful life, the feelings of thanksgiving can be strongest.

There are times when the death of a faithful Christian seems to be the consummation of all they have lived for and the funeral service is a triumphal departure for their true home.

Funeral services always raise profound questions about the meaning of life and death.  Jesus himself believed in a life-giving God: 'the God of the living, not of the dead.' Christians believe that Christ's resurrection at Easter is the triumph of good over evil and of life over death and has made eternal life available to us.

What happens after we die remains a mystery.    What Heaven is like, no one can exactly say, but the Bible affirms that in God's kingdom we shall delight in the presence and love of God and of the whole company of heaven.  Whatever is wonderful about life here on earth is only a glimpse of the glory of the life that is to come.  The comfort we need to find strength to come to terms with death and bereavement is to be found in the promises of Jesus Christ, in the hope of the Resurrection and in the belief that our departed loved ones are safe in the hands of God.

In the days before and after the funeral there may not be much of an opportunity to reflect on these things, but the parish clergy and others involved in the service will be glad to offer help in thinking through how you have been affected personally by the death of your loved one.

The Funeral Service

The funeral of a loved one acknowledges the closing of a human life on earth.  A funeral service is an opportunity for family and friends to gather in a parish church or crematorium to express their grief, give thanks to God and celebrate a life that has completed its journey through this life, and to commend the soul of the departed into God's eternal keeping.

A funeral service conducted by a Church of England minister can be very short and quiet with only a few members of a family present, or an occasion of great solemnity with music, hymns, a eulogy offered by one of the mourners, the inclusion of favourite readings, and a full church.  It is also possible for the body of the deceased to lie in church the night before a funeral service, and for a Requiem Eucharist to be held as part of the funeral ceremony.

Whatever the pattern of service, the words and actions all speak of a loving God and the preciousness to him of every human being.

The Choices You and Your Family Have

The person who has died may have left a paragraph in their Will describing the sort of funeral arrangements they hoped for. Naturally, the family will want to keep to such arrangements as far as possible.

Not everyone knows that they have the right to a funeral in their parish church, even if they and the dead person have not been church-goers.  Your Parish Church is the spiritual 'home' of everyone who lives within the parish and we will be privileged to arrange a funeral service for your loved one.

Parish clergy regard the taking of funerals as an important part of their work.  They give a lot of time to visiting families, comforting those who are facing loss, finding out what service they want to use and helping them to arrange it.  If the priest did not know the deceased person, then it would help to provide some details, especially if there is to be an address within the service.

The Funeral Director plays a very important part in the co-ordinating of the funeral arrangements and will want to know if the funeral is to be in the parish church or if the parish clergy are to take the service in the crematorium.  They will advise you on the fees for a funeral service in church, at a cemetery, or crematorium.

Local Funeral Directors

Mr Hughie Scott, Silloth 016973 31173

Mr David Mounsey, Aspatria 016973 21794

Mr Mark Szandurski, Aspatria  016973 20551

Mr Roland Hill, Wigton 013973 42635

Mr Darren Studholme, Wigton 016973 45318

The main part of the service takes place in the church (i.e. the readings, address, prayers and commendation), and then we either go to the Cemetery or Crematorium for the short service of Committal.  Some families prefer the whole service to take place in church, with just the minister accompanying the coffin to the Crematorium.

The Committal is sometimes a private occasion when the family wish to have the opportunity of saying their own personal goodbye to their loved one.


The Committal

The Committal can take place in a Churchyard, Public Cemetery or Crematorium

The Funeral Director and Clergy can help you decide the most appropriate place for the committal to take place.

In the Solway Plain Team, four of the churchyards are open for burials.

Holme St Cuthbert

The churchyard at Causewayhead was closed for burials some years ago.

There is a public cemetery at Causewayhead, across the road from St. Paul's Church.  The cemetery is run by Allerdale Borough Council.  There are also public cemeteries at Wigton and Maryport.



It is possible to have the full funeral service at the Crematorium or just the committal service following on from a service in one of the churches.  The minister who leads the service in the church will travel to the crematorium for the committal service.

The local Crematoriums are in Carlisle and Distington



Prayers & Readings

Churchyards & Memorials