Usually, when someone dies, unless it’s someone we know well at church, the first contact with us is from the Funeral Director. Even when it’s a member of the church family and we’re aware that the person has died, the arrangements will normally be made through the undertaker.
He or she will liaise with the vicar on dates and times. Our Vicar will then contact the family and arrange to visit, or, on some occasions, one of our Licensed Lay Minsters (LLM) may take the funeral and will make all contacts on behalf of the St. John's.
During that visit, we will talk about the service: the hymns, Bible reading, any other readings, who might like to speak or read and who will prepare something to describe the person for whom we’re holding the service.
We will always conduct an overtly Christian service within the time constraints of the type of funeral chosen. If it’s to be at the crematorium, then we are much more bound by issues of time, whereas in church there is more time, as we would never book something else into the church immediately after a funeral.