In June 2017, 160 clergy and readers from the Church of England headed into the National Funeral Exhibition as soon as the doors opened. There was palpable excitement in the air! Soon they were absorbed in looking at coffins, hearses, flowers, urns, memorials and much more. Over on the very large Church of England stand we were busy talking to delegates at the Exhibition, telling them how the Church of England still supports around 3000 families every week at a funeral. See how they got on in this video:
The NFE is the largest trade show for the funeral profession. Funeral directors and their staff – embalmers, arrangers, drivers, bearers – come along to find out the latest developments and to meet each other. It’s very much a family business – and on the Sunday we met several ‘junior’ funeral directors, many still at Primary school. The question was asked; “why is the Church of England here?” The answer is that not only do funerals matter to us, but funeral directors matter too.
Summer is a good time to strengthen the relationship with the local funeral director and their team. There are lots of practical ways to support, and lots of ways we can begin a conversation. Research with Funeral Directors shows that the relationship we have is central to the way that together we serve bereaved families in our parishes in the best way.
Here are a few suggestions: