It is an extraordinary privilege for us to be involved in the funeral of your loved one and it is a ministry that we take very seriously at the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin. If you choose to entrust your loved one's funeral to us, the Vicar, Fr Tom (or on the rare occasions when he is unavailable, another priest) will contact you so that we can arrange a time to meet to talk and to discuss the service. We have excellent relationships with the all of the Funeral Directors based in Nuneaton and work alongside them in order to lift as much of the pressure from you at this difficult time - we know how much there is to arrange and consider when you are the next of kin and we are here to help you through it as best as we can. As soon as we receive notice from your Funeral Director your loved one, you, and all who are grieving will be in our daily prayers here in church; but our ministry to you doesn't stop when the funeral ends - you can always be in touch with Fr Tom after the funeral if you would like to talk.
If you choose the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin there are a number of things that you might like to consider before you meet with the priest, although there is no pressure to do so and he will certainly be able to help you through making the decisions about the service. Every Church of England funeral has a reading from the Bible - a message of hope and of God's promises fulfilled in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and of His desire that we all share in that great Victory over death. Generally, we also suggest two hymns for the service. Alongside this, there may be some other things that you would like to include and you can discuss these at the initial meeting. The service may take the standard form for a Church of England funeral or you may choose a Requiem Mass (a longer funeral service at which Mass is offered for the soul of the departed). The Church of England website (www.churchofenglandfunerals.org) gives some ideas about Bible readings and some suggestions of hymns as well as some other useful advice. If you have yet to choose a Funeral Director you will find links to the companies based in Nuneaton at the bottom of this page (although you may, of course, choose to use a company from outside the town).
On 2nd November each year we also hold a Mass for All Souls and a Memorial service (on the nearest Sunday to All Souls) at which we pray by name for the faithful departed and all of those whose funerals we have taken through the year. A candle will burn for at least three days in memory of those whose funerals we have been involved in, and you are very welcome to join us for either or both of these special services.