Funerals and Burials
If you are visiting this page because you have been bereaved, first, may we offer our sincere condolences for your loss. If you would like a visit (or a call, during Covid-19) from a member of the ministry team or would like to be included in our prayers, please contact us. We would like to support you at this sad time.
A funeral marks the end of life here on earth, and allows family and friends to come together to give thanks for the life lived and to express grief. A Christian funeral will recognise both the comfort gained through knowing that Jesus fully understands our sorrow, and the hope we have through his resurrection, which showed us that death is not the end.
Planning the Service
(Covid-19: Please note that the current limit on attendance at a funeral in St. Peter and St. Paul's is 30 people.)
Funerals are now conducted to various patterns (for example a church service may be before or after a cremation) and we will be flexible, hoping to fully represent the wishes of the family.
Nowadays, funeral planning usually begins through contact with a Funeral Director. We don't have a Funeral Director within the parish of Aylesford and Eccles, so if you would like to arrange a funeral at St. Peter and St. Paul's, please let the Funeral Director know, and they with make all the arrangements with us, for you. The nearest Funeral Directors are in Barming, Larkfield, Maidstone, Snodland and West Malling.
It does not matter whether you, or the person who has died, attended this church or any other church. If you live in Aylesford or Eccles we will be very ready to help you at this difficult time. Or, if you live outside the parish, you may still ask for a funeral here, if you have particular reasons for doing so.
A funeral service in church, is usually followed by a committal at the crematorium or burial at a cemetery. Or else the whole service can be at the crematorium/cemetery and leave out the church service. You can choose the option you prefer. If you would like Revd Ruth to conduct a service at the crematorium, just let the Funeral Director know. Different arrangements are possible too. For example, some people prefer the cremation or burial to be held before a service of thanksgiving for the life of the person in church.
The beauty of a church service is that there is no rush; there is no tight schedule to stick to, as there often is at the crematorium, so the service can be relaxed and can include everything you want it to, to honour your loved one. We can also offer an organist or recorded music played from a CD, a choir (depending on availability) and church bells. The church will usually seat around 150, with extra seating available if necessary.
To start arranging a service here, please contact a Funeral Director. If you have questions about funerals at St. Peter and St. Paul's specifically, don't hesitate to contact Revd Ruth, 01622 717434.
The churchyard, large as it is, has been closed for burials for a number of years, because it is full. Most burials take place in Aylesford Cemetery (next to Ferryfield Recreation Ground on Station Road). We do not manage that cemetery - it is managed by Aylesford Parish Council (which is not St. Peter and St. Paul's Parochial Church Council, confusing though it is). The Funeral Director will help you with arrangements for burial in Aylesford Cemetery.
Burial of Ashes
Although the churchyard is closed for burials, there is Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard for the burial of ashes. Please contact Anita in the Church Office to arrange a burial of ashes (contact details below). Ashes can be buried when you are ready; the ceremony does not have to be immediately after the funeral.
Book of Remembrance
We are very happy to add the names of anyone you would like included (free of charge) to the Book of Remembrance which is held in the North Chancel (Lady Chapel). We remember those named in the book on the anniversary of their death and we pray for their relatives in the Sunday Service. You may like to visit St. Peter and St. Paul's Church on or near the anniversary, and you will be very welcome.
If you're interested in family history, although we have rather poor records of the burials in the churchyard, by all means contact the Church Office and Anita, the Church Clerk will help you if possible (contact details below).
For enquiries about any of the above, please contact:
Anita Keays, Church Clerk
Parish Office (open Tues and Thurs, 9am - 2pm)
Tel: 01622 719366 (or during Covid-19, 01622 719589)