Different types of service

Funeral in church

A church funeral can be preferable to a service at the crematorium. In church, we are free of the time constraints of the crematorium, and the building is larger and with a more prayerful atmosphere. We strongly recommend a church funeral if you are expecting more than a hundred mourners or if more than one person wishes to speak at the service. A church funeral can be followed by burial in the churchyard or by a short service of committal at the crematorium.

Funeral at the crematorium

The advantages here are that mourners only have to travel to one place, and there is no gap between the service and the committal. Logistically a crematorium service is easier, as all the mourners will leave together for any reception planned afterwards. Bear in mind that the service cannot be more than half an hour.


St Margaret’s churchyard is nearly full, so with regret we limit the right of burial to those who died in the parish or meet other criteria (see information below). The PCC will sometimes agree to the burial of someone who does not meet the criteria, if there are special circumstances. Graves are the property of the family, who are responsible for upkeep and the maintenance of memorial stones. Graves can be dug double depth so that a spouse or family member can be buried in the same grave when the time comes. Grave spaces can not normally be bought or reserved in advance: there is a cumbersome procedure by which permission for this can be obtained: speak to the clergy if you want further guidance.


Relatives and executors will be notified when the ashes of a deceased person are ready to be buried. The crematorium will arrange for the burial of ashes in their own grounds if you wish. We are always happy to bury ashes in the churchyard, either in family graves or in the special Garden of Remembrance. Ashes are buried loose, not in caskets or urns: this is so that other members of the family can subsequently be buried in the same spot.

Thanksgiving and memorial services

There are many different ways of arranging funerals. A private funeral may be held at the crematorium, followed by a public thanksgiving service in church. The final committal may be held later in the day, following a funeral in church. A memorial  or thanksgiving service may be held on a quite separate occasion. The clergy are happy to discuss the pattern which is right for your family and your circumstances.

To be buried in St Margaret’s churchyard you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your last home before you died was in the Parish of Warnham.
  • Your last home before you went into residential care was in the Parish of Warnham.
  • You have a parent, spouse or child already buried in the Churchyard.
  • You had a double depth grave dug at the time of the funeral of a relative or friend and have expressed a desire to be buried in this double grave.

Anybody without exception may have their ashes interred in the Churchyard after cremation.

We welcome flowers in the Churchyard and Memorial gardens. However, we would be grateful if families could clear up flowers that have wilted, wreaths, wrappings and pots, when they are past their best. There are bins on the south side of the Church for disposal purposes.