The funeral service

A service can be conducted at a church, chapel, cemetery or crematorium. If you wish to have a religious service, you should contact a minister as soon as possible. If you wish to have the services of a minister but do not know one in the area, most funeral directors will do their best to advise and in some cases can arrange for one to officiate at the service.

It is not necessary to have a formal service or for the service to be religious. A relative or friend can say a few words. A non-religious service one can be planned. Societies such as The British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society may be able to arrange for someone to conduct a ceremony or can send a form of words that can be used. (Leaflets are available from these organisations on receipt of a sae).

Address is 1 Gower Street, London WC1E 6HD, tel: 020 7079 3580. Some publications are available on their website: www.humanism.org.uk which you may find useful, such as Coping with Death by Leslie Scrase and Funerals without God by Jane Wynne Wilson.

The National Secular Society’s address is 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, tel: 020 7404 3126, website: www.secularism.org.uk.

It is also possible to have a green funeral service. Green funerals are designed to be simple and environmentally friendly. For example, a cardboard coffin may be used instead of one made of wood.

Two of The Natural Death Centre’s publications, The New Natural Death Handbook, 3rd Edition, and Before and After, may provide you with some guidance.

The Natural Death Centre’s address is: 6 Blackstock Mews, Blackstock Road, London, N4 2BT, tel: 020 7359 8391.

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