Planning and organising a funeral can be one of the most stressful things people face in their lives.
Funerals used to be quite simple, it was held in the family church, with the Parish Minister presiding over a set service. Over the years, the church funeral service has evolved to provide a personalised, and inclusive funeral service that reflects and celebrates the life and beliefs of your loved one, who was a unique and special person in life, and remains so in death.
Our minister, Rev. Stephanie Wells will work with you and your family to craft a service that fits the needs of your family, and reflects the life of your loved one.
When you are grieving and in pain, facing the prospect of organising a funeral can be daunting and overwhelming. Here are some FAQ about funerals that may be useful to you.
I am not part of a church. Can I still arrange a church service at the Kaiapoi Co-operating Church?
Yes. We are happy to offer the use of the church to anyone who needs it, and this can be arranged through your funeral director, or by contacting us directly.
Our minister, Stephanie, will conduct the funeral service, as well as a committal service, (grave side service), if required. The Church Hall is available if you require a space to gather for refreshments after the funeral service.
Can I see inside the church before I decide if I want have the funeral there?
Of course. We are happy to open the church at a time that is convenient to you, please contact the office to arrange an appropriate time.
How many does the church seat?
80 – 100 people comfortably.
Is there disabled access to the church?
Yes, in both the church and the hall
What kind of music can we have in the funeral service?
Traditional hymns can be played on our pipe organ or piano. Some families like music played softly as people arrive at the church, and as they leave. The hymns that are played are chosen by the family, and can be the traditional hymns used at funerals, or favourite hymns of the family or your loved one.
Instead of, or as well as hymns, families can request that their loved one’s favourite recorded songs are played before, during and after the service. We have a sound system in the church, and your funeral director can arrange to have your selected music given to our/their sound operator. The music played at funerals has ranged from Classical music to Heavy Metal and everything in between.
I don’t /I do want to speak at the funeral.
Traditionally, a eulogy, (or reflection), is given at a funeral, which is a short story of your loved one’s life. We enter into others lives at various points, some from birth, some from childhood, and some later in life, so some families ask a variety of family and friends to chronicle the life, one will start in childhood, and then others will take up the reflection at the point they met your loved one. Others prefer to have one person deliver the eulogy, and some families prefer the Minister to speak on their behalf, or invite anyone who wants to share their memories, to do so during the service.
Families can find doing their own eulogy beneficial to their grieving process, other families don’t want to get up and talk at the funeral service. Both reactions are perfectly normal, and it is what your family want and feel comfortable with, that matters the most.
If you would like Stephanie to conduct the eulogy, she will sit with your family, and invite those present to share with her your family history, memories, stories, the moments that are precious to you, that you would like shared at the funeral. A gifted and confident public speaker, Stephanie can deliver those memories in a way that reflects the person your loved one was. She will provide a comforting and loving reminder of the person you loved and valued, for your family and friends who attend the service.
Can we display photos or special mementos at the service?
Yes. Power point presentations of photographs can be displayed on a screen in the church, before, during, or after the funeral service. (Your funeral director can assist you with copying photos onto a presentation DVD or power point presentation that can be played in the church).
Special photos can be displayed at the front of the church, in the foyer, or placed on top of the casket. We can set up a table to display mementos on, these have ranged from gumboots and gardening tools, to medals and uniforms. Anything can be considered, providing it can be displayed safely, it poses no risk of injuring others or damaging the church, and for health and safety reasons, doesn’t block the church aisles or the exits.
Who organises the funeral?
Usually the surviving spouse, children, brothers, sisters, or close family friends, with the assistance of the funeral director and/or minister. One person, or a group, takes responsibility for the funeral arrangements. In a situation where a group of people are organising the service, it is important that everyone is allowed the opportunity to express their ideas for the service, however, a surviving spouse or children would normally approve the final arrangements.
Some of my family are religious, and some of us are not, so we can’t agree on what we want. Who gets to decide what happens during the funeral?
The family does. Stephanie will sit down with your family, and discuss what each member of the family organising the funeral would like, and wouldn’t like in the service, and then crafts a service that meets those requirements. Religious elements can be added or removed from the service until a compromise can be reached between those who are religious and who aren’t, which provides a funeral service both parties can be happy with.
I don’t want a religious service at all, but I still want the funeral in a Church.
In this rapidly changing world, some families want the comfort of holding a funeral in a sacred space, (in this case our church), but are uncomfortable with the thought of having religious elements such as prayers, hymns and readings in the service, especially if your loved one didn’t believe in God.
Church is inclusive, and is open to all, so the fact that you don’t share our belief in God should not deter you from asking if you can use the church for a funeral. We will treat the service for your loved one with respect and consideration for you, your family, your friends and your beliefs.
We respect your beliefs, so we ask you to respect ours in return, and treat our Church and our Minister with the respect and consideration they both deserve.
Stephanie will be happy to discuss your needs, and if she is comfortable conducting the funeral service you want to reflect and honour your loved one, we will be able to offer you the use of the church.
We hope this has been helpful for you. If you have questions that haven’t been answered here, or would like more information, please contact us via email, or phone. Our contact details are on the contacts page of this website.