The death of someone we love is never easy. As your local Church in Meole Brace and Radbrook Green it is a huge privilege to walk with you through one of life’s most difficult times.
From the moment you are in touch with us, throughout the process of planning a funeral service, and for as long as you need us afterwards, we are here for you.
Before the Funeral
There is so much to think about when someone has died. There are formalities to complete, people to be told, and a funeral to organise. And all this in the midst of pain and grief.
At this time, we are very willing to come alongside you and to talk about how best to remember your loved one. Whether you prefer a service in Holy Trinity Church Meole Brace, or at the crematorium, we want to support you in the days leading up to the funeral.
We work closely with all of the funeral directors in Shrewsbury, and enjoy a good working relationship with each of them as we serve families who are grieving.
If you’d like to take a moment to pray, you can also light a candle online to help you do that. Go to www.churchofenglandfunerals.org/light-candle
Planning the Funeral
Whatever will help to make the funeral special – music, hymns, readings, tributes, even the type of coffin – can be part of a Church of England funeral. We have considerable experience of working with families, Funeral Directors and others in planning funerals, and we’re with you every step of the way.
As you meet with your church minister, you will discuss the different elements of a funeral service. The following is taken from www.churchofenglandfunerals.org/stepbystep, which also has additional resources of readings and music.
Choosing Hymns. Hymns might be a helpful way to allow family and friends to express their emotions and feelings, and to put into words a sense of sadness, thankfulness, trust and hope.
Remembering a Unique Life. There is time in the funeral to tell the story of the person you knew and loved. You, another friend or relative, or the church minister can do this. This may involve readings or music which reflect the character or interests of the person who has died.
A message of hope. The minister will speak about God’s promises – of the hope that death is not the end. Whatever your beliefs, hearing these words can bring a sense of hope and comfort, even at a difficult time.
Reflecting and Remembering. This can be an opportunity for some prayers, some music, or silence.
Saying goodbye. The minister will pray, asking God to keep your loved one in his care, using words that have been used for centuries: “…earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust: in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
After the Funeral
There are all sorts of feelings that people experience following a funeral, and they can be bewildering. Each grief journey is unique, and affected by many things.
As the days and weeks go by after the funeral, the church will also be there for you as you walk this journey of grief. We can offer to do this in a variety of ways:
“I need a listening ear…” You may like someone from our pastoral team to come round for a cup of tea or coffee and to sit and listen to you. These people are not professional counsellors, but they are simply those with the gift of time, love and a willingness to listen. This pastoral visitor may come just once, or may continue to do so for a little while. This is entirely up to you.
Café Connect. Café Connect is a church run coffee shop at the heart of Radbrook Green in Shrewsbury. Open six days a week and staffed by a team of volunteers, we offer good quality food and drinks, great value, and a listening ear.
Midweek social events. There are many different events that take place in the parish during the week, including a weekly Coffee morning, Wednesday afternoon monthly teas in Radbrook, and Tuesday’s “Trinity Table” once a month. If you would like any more details of these events, please do contact us in the parish office 01743 362399.
Coming to Church. Every Sunday – as well as midweek – Christians gather together in local churches to give thanks to God, to pray, and to know God’s strength for the week ahead. It can be a place to sit and think, a place to pray, and a place to talk. There are a variety of services taking place across the parish each week. Many bereaved people find the Sunday 9am service at Holy Trinity – a more traditional communion service – and the Thursday midweek service at 10am the most appropriate services to come to, although, of course, you are welcome to come to any of our services.
We hold a memorial service at Holy Trinity Church twice a year. Each time we invite family members and friends of those whose funerals have taken place in the past twelve months.
During the service the names of those who have died are read out and there is the opportunity to light a candle to remember them. The service – lasting just under an hour – includes some well-known hymns, a reading from the Bible, some simple prayers, and an opportunity for us to focus on issues that arise in bereavement, and how the Christian faith can help us.
You will receive an invitation to two of these services, and you would be most welcome to come along. You may wish to ask members of your family, or friends, to accompany you.
Continuing to Remember
There are two other ways in which we often support families for a few months after the funeral.
Burying Ashes. We have a beautiful memorial garden at Holy Trinity Church. We can offer to bury ashes in an agreed place within the garden area, and for it to be a place for you to come and continue to remember your loved one. It is in a quiet and secluded spot, and there are benches where you can sit and remember.
Memorial Book. We also have a memorial book which is kept in Holy Trinity Church, into which details can be specially written of your loved one. This can offer a more permanent written memorial of those who have died, and over the next decades become a lasting record.
The Gift of Hope
When someone dies, it often prompts us to reflect on our own lives, and where we are on the journey of life with God.
The Christian message – even at a funeral – is one of hope. Although there is sadness because someone you know and love has died, Christians believe that death does not have the last word, but God’s gift is eternal life to those who walk with Jesus.
One of the best known verses in the Bible – and often read at funerals – is John 3:16. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Church has always proclaimed this message: it is a message of hope for us all, and one that can transform the way we live, both in this life and for all eternity. If this is something you’d like to talk about some more, we would be very pleased to help.