ST BARTHOLOMEW'S , TONG
As we move out of lockdown caused by COVID 19 it is possible to hold are funeral at Tong Church, although some restrictions remain in place. We would encourage you to contact us for the latest information.
If you are faced with the sad business of arranging a funeral at Tong, it is best to talk to the Vicar sooner rather than later. Your chosen Funeral Director can put you in touch, or contact Wendy our Administrator on 01952 291532 ( limited working hours)
Each funeral at St. Bartholomew’s is designed round the wishes of the bereaved and the Vicar will want to meet family members and hear as much as possible about the person who has died. The service can take place in church or at the crematorium or one followed by the other. In either case it will be a Christian service but that does not mean that pop songs cannot be included, nor that the words will be heavy and old-fashioned. We believe that there is a new life with God when this life has ended, so it is always hopeful as we commend the person into Eternity.
The advantage of having a funeral service in church is that it reflects the fact that death is part of the whole tapestry of our lives, albeit a very sad one. But in church there are many happy celebrations like Weddings and Christenings and Renewal of Vows and the gatherings of each Sunday. Nothing else takes place in a crematorium except funerals, though they serve a very useful function. Tong Church has celebrated and mourned and prayed and wept for over 600 years and visitors can feel that in the peace of its ancient walls. The church is open every day so that people can come in and assimilate its atmosphere and remember their loved ones whose names can be inscribed in the Memorial Book.
There is limited burial space in the churchyard, so only those with Tong connections through living in the parish for any length of time or attending church services regularly can be buried there, but that doesn’t preclude a funeral service in the church, though normally a funeral takes place in the parish in which the deceased has lived. In any event, please ask!
There are strict rules about headstones in churchyards, and again it is best to talk to the Vicar about them before visiting a stone mason in order to avoid disappointment. No headstone can be placed before 6 months have elapsed since the burial, because of allowing the ground to settle.
NB During Covid 19 the numbers who could attend funerals have been limited because of social distancing, and for many weeks the service could only be said at the graveside or in the crematorium. However the restrictions are gradually being lifted and are different from week to week. We can of course talk about whatever restrictions, permissions and practices will need to be adhered to when we talk about your needs and preferred arrangements.