Funeral Services

A funeral service is always significant for those who attend as an opportunity to gather together to share in grief, to give thanks in celebration of a life and to commend a loved one into God’s keeping.
Taking funerals is important part of the work of parish clergy. Sometimes people like to prepare for their own death and plan their service in advance, in which case clergy can help by listening compassionately, and can record the details of their wishes. Sometimes a bereaved family is left with no real sense of what their loved one wished for: at these times, clergy can work together with the funeral director to give extra guidance and advice as required.
Each funeral service is unique because each personal is individually known and loved by God. Therefore, a funeral service can take a variety of forms depending on the wishes of the deceased and their family. This may be in church, at the crematorium or at another location e.g a woodland burial site or in the funeral director’s chapel of rest.

Who can have a Church Funeral?

Everyone who lives in Barlow parish has the right to a funeral in the parish church even if they have not been churchgoers. (Click here for details of the boundaries of the Parish of St. Lawrence, Great Barlow - zoom out to see full parish boundary).
Sometimes a traditional church service is held followed by a burial in the churchyard -  we have a large churchyard which will be open to new burials for many years to come. Alternatively a service may be held afterwards at the crematorium followed by the burial of ashes here. Another option may be to have a quiet family funeral service (either in church, at the graveside or at the crematorium) followed by a larger, public Memorial Service or Requiem Mass.
Further general information can be found on the Church of England website here but please do not hesitate to contact the Vicar if you have any questions or wish to enquire further.

How much does a Church Funeral cost?

The Church of England sets statutory legal fees and additional costs may be incurred if, for example, an organist is required.
The funeral fees for 2024 can be found here.
As our churchyard is open to new burials, the responsibility and cost of maintenance lies with the church: therefore we ask that families consider making a one off donation of £100 towards ongoing costs. Thank you.

Annual Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance

At around All Souls’ tide (early November) each year we hold a service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for loved ones who have died. During the service there is an opportunity to light a candle in their memory and their names are read aloud. The clergy send personal invitations to the families of those for whom they have taken a funeral service during the past year, but everyone is welcome. The date and time of the service are advertised in advance on the church website and Barlow Church Facebook page as well as in the parish magazine.


If you wish to discuss a funeral, please refer to the contacts page, or, once an appointment has been made, our Vicar.


Leaflets available for download :

Funeral Fees
Graveyard Guidelines
Churchyard Regulations

These are all in .pdf format

Church of England Website

There's a C of E website here which may give you further help and advice.

God’s Acre

Barlow Church Memorial Garden‘God’s Acre’ is an old description of the English parish churchyard and evocative of much that we feel and value for those places set apart for the resting place of the departed. In Barlow churchyard you will find gravestones going back many centuries. A parish churchyard is not a public park or playing field, nor does it aim to resemble a neatly mowed and trimmed garden. We are really fortunate in Barlow to have a team of volunteers who work hard to keep the churchyard looking good and one area is now being managed as a wildlife garden. Please help us to care for it.

Churchyard Memorials

In order to help parish churches keep their churchyards in good order, the Diocese of Derby provides directions and guidelines with regard to memorials (gravestones) which we are legally obliged to follow. A copy of the full Diocesan Rules and Regulations may be found on display in the church porch and can also be found here: Barlow Church has produced a shorter version of the guidelines which can be found here.
Briefly, they state that:

•    Applications to erect or place anything whatsoever, or do any works in the churchyard, must be made in writing to the Vicar
•    Nothing must be placed or erected in the churchyard until such proposals have received the consent of the Vicar in writing
•    This applies to any monuments, stones, crosses and inscriptions, and also includes the planting of trees, shrubs etc.
•    The surface of the churchyard should be kept level and free from mounds and gravel to permit mowing. Kerbs and railings are not permitted.
If you have any questions about any of the above, please contact the Vicar.

Churchyard Flowers

Bereaved families often wish to place flowers on a loved one’s grave and it always lovely to see them there. We especially encourage families to consider planting spring bulbs on or around the grave as they look so beautiful.Barlow Church Daffodils
In the past, unfortunately, there have been occasions when additional items have been placed on graves which have deteriorated over time and become a hazard to the volunteer mowing teams. To try to keep everyone safe and yet provide balance the Parochial Church Council has agreed that:
For grave plots: it will be permissible for relatives to place unbreakable planters for 12” in front of and for the width of a headstone
For ashes plots: it is permitted to place one unbreakable planter on the memorial stone provided that it does not encroach into the surrounding grass
Additional memorial ornaments and decorations cannot be permitted for safety reasons. We hope that you understand the reason for this policy. Thank you.

Church Burial Registers

Over the centuries, many local people have been laid to rest in Barlow  churchyard although many graves do not have headstones. Thankfully, detailed church burial records have been kept for several hundred years and these can be helpful in tracing family histories, but please note these are not held by the church: all such records are held in the county archives. Only details of burials in recent years and/or contained in our current burials register are kept in church.
Please note that a statutory charge may be payable for a search of the current church registers. 

Examples of prayers used at funerals

Prayer of St Francis of AssisiBarlow Churchyard Extension

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening
into the house and gate of heaven,
to enter that gate and dwell in that house,
where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light;
no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession;
no ends or beginnings, but one equal eternity;
in the habitations of your glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.
John Donne