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A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter


A funeral marks the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God's keeping. As Christians we believe that there is hope in death as in life, and that there is new life in Jesus after death. This faith is expressed through the hymns and prayers of the funeral service.

If you are visiting these pages after suffering a bereavement, we would like to offer our condolences.


How do I arrange a funeral service?

Usually the undertaker will contact one of the clergy or the verger and make the arrangements for you. It is important that they do this before fixing the date and time of the service, as clergy are not always available. You have the option to have your loved one either buried or cremated and the undertaker will help you with that decision.


It is possible to have a funeral service in church followed by a cremation at the Crematorium.
 A memorial service can be held after a private funeral service. These decisions are often very personal ones and can be discussed with the priest.

Some people find planning the funeral with family and friends helpful. Perhaps you already know something of what your loved one wanted. You may even have planned the service together some time ago. The minister who will lead the service can help you choose suitable readings, hymns and prayers and help offer comfort and support. They will want to talk with you to build up a picture of the person’s life. This may take only one meeting but sometimes it can be more. In such a service it is required by the Church of England that there is a Bible reading and prayers.


Any parishioner is entitled to either a burial service or to have their ashes buried in their local parish churchyard, regardless of whether they attended church or not. Please contact us for more advice. The Church of England website also provides information on planning a funeral and the funeral service.


Some deaths will be especially traumatic, distressing or unexpected. The Church has special funerals for children, or after sudden or violent deaths, including suicide. Talk with your minister about what is possible.

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Anyone who has lived, or died, in the parish is entitled to be buried in the churchyard, whether or not they regularly attended church. The same applies with the burial of ashes, with some churchyards having special areas set aside for this purpose.

Most of the churchyards in the Mission Community are becoming full, which means that regretably some restrictions have had to be introduced into who may be buried in them: 

1. Anyone who has lived, or died in the parish.

2. Anyone who has lived in the parish but had moved into residential care.

3. Anyone who has a relative buried in the churchyard. 

3a. Anyone who has a close relative buried in the churchyard (Bratton Fleming).

4. Anyone who was on the Church Electoral Roll. 

5. Anyone who owned a house or land in the parish. (Shirwell, East Down, Arlington, Challacombe Stoke Rivers & Kentisbury).