Funerals: Explore the thinking

The Church of England is involved with over 3,000 funerals every week, bringing us into contact with around 250m people. Discover what Church of England research says about supporting bereaved families who are organising a funeral, working with the Funeral Director, and ways to discuss death and dying.


Funeral ministry is a key part of parish ministry for many churches, whether in traditional rural communities or in busy town centres. Clergy and licensed lay ministers conduct funerals in churches, crematoria, cemeteries and green burial grounds, providing pastoral care, compassion and hope to thousands of bereaved families and friends each year. It’s so important that the Archbishops’ Council commissioned independent research with families who have had a Church of England funeral. This was supported by a wide range of research with funeral directors, clergy and others working to help the bereaved.

  • The research confirmed that most people have a positive experience of a Church of England funeral.
  • That the culture around death and funerals is changing.
  • That families want funerals to be unique and personal.
  • That the taboo around talking about death before it happens is being challenged.
  • That the relationship with the Funeral Director is crucial – and changing.

Read on to discover how this research might make a difference to the way churches approach funeral ministry.