Funeral Arrangements

Guidance for Clergy and Funeral Directors in the Diocese of Oxford

Temporary Support Protocol
Updated 7 May 2020

  1. We are committed to serving everyone who requests a Church of England funeral service and have put in place additional measures to continue to respond quickly and to provide a good service of ensuring authorised ministers are available during the current outbreak of Covid-19. These measures are temporary and will remain until further notice.
  2. It is no longer necessary to waive fees for funerals. Therefore we are now reverting to the normal arrangement of charging for all funerals in accordance with the established fees. These will be applied to funerals that are booked from 7 May onwards. The change can also apply on a voluntary basis for any funerals occurring in the meantime if the family wishes to do so or if a payment plan is in place. Of course, for those facing significant hardship, it remains possible to waive fees in agreement with the Archdeacon and the PCC.
  3. We want to ensure that a minister will be available for every funeral requested, despite the need for some clergy to be self-isolating, on sick-leave or unavailable for usual duties.
  4. A Diocesan support team will provide additional support to Funeral Directors in line with the process described below.
  5. If the number of funerals increases significantly, we will further supplement this process.

Process

  • In the first instance all Funeral Directors should continue to contact local clergy in the usual way to book funerals.
  • Where the local church team is not able to respond, the Funeral Director can email funerals@oxford.anglican.org giving details of the funeral. Include all normal information including address and next of kin and desired location of funeral.
  • The Diocesan team will confirm receipt of the email and then arrange a minister for the funeral. Contact details will then be confirmed with the Funeral Director to allow them to discuss specific arrangements directly. If a burial in a churchyard is requested the diocesan team will contact the parish team to make all necessary decisions.
  • Details of the funeral will be passed, by the Diocesan team, to the relevant parish so that prayer, ongoing care and pastoral support can be provided, and at a later date, memorial services can be offered. The central funeral team will always endeavour to involve local parish clergy before arranging an alternative minister.

Further helpful information and funeral and bereavement resources for ministers are available on the Church of England site.