Funerals at St Luke's

If you're reading this page because someone you know has recently died, then we would like to say how sorry we are to hear your news and to express our sympathy.

We think it is important to mark people's deaths properly and respectfully, and we therefore welcome the opportunity to host funerals at our church and to give families the chance to give their loved ones a service which fully expresses their lives, characters and personalities, and the places they held in the hearts of those who knew them.

Church services can be held in the parish church or in the crematorium chapel. If you want a service just at the crematorium then we will be very happy to come out to conduct it there for you.  But here are some advantages to holding the funeral service in your local parish church:

  • you can spend as much time as you wish (in a crematorium you have a limited time-slot of 20-25 minutes);
  • we can accommodate up to 300 people (the local crematoria will only seat up to 120);
  • we have a lovely pipe organ (the local crematoria only have electric organs) and we can provide a choir if you wish;
  • local people will be able to attend more easily (all the local crematoria are at least 2 bus rides away);
  • if you want anything unusual which requires space (for example a band or choir or a photo display) we can accommodate it and spend time setting up for it in advance (but if you want longer than 20-25 minutes at a crematorium you have to pay a double fee).
  • if you wish you can also book our "narthex" (function room underneath the gallery) for use for a reception afterwards, so that your guests do not have to travel to join you for refreshments.

Sadly, we quite frequently hear of funerals when we know that the deceased would have liked a church service, but s/he has taken out a commercial "funeral plan" which specifies only a service at a crematorium - and we would urge people to resist these kinds of plans!

How to book a funeral. Most people engage a funeral director who contacts all the people involved and draws up a timetable so that everything coordinates and happens on schedule - and usually the funeral director contacts us to arrange the details. But if you want to make sure of our availability or anything particular that you want, please contact us as soon as possible and we will do our utmost to help with all the arrangements.

What does a funeral cost? There is a scale of fees for funerals: the basic charges are decided by Parliament each year and the local extras are decided by the church council. In 2020 the usual total fees are £322 (the first 5 items in the breakdown below). You are obliged to have the verger (an attendant to keep order and show people to their seats) and the heating (but if the day is warm and the heating is not needed we will refund you this cost). Fees are reviewed every year and increase on 1st January.

Here is a breakdown of the fees in 2020:

  • Diocese £136 (service in church plus committal in crematorium or at graveside)
  • Church £91
  • Heating £30 (returned if the heating is not needed)
  • Verger £20
  • Organist £45
  • Music played if you are not having an organist £20
  • Choir £60 for 10 choristers (unused sums of £6 will be returned if fewer than 10 choristers are available)

Fees are reviewed every year and increase on 1st January - at the time of writing we do not know the scale of fees for 2021.

This page was last updated on 2rd January 2020, except that a typographical error was corrected on 24th February 2020.