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At a time of loss you need as much support as you can. We are here to help in those situations working in partnership with you as a family and with your funeral director. We have a lot of experience of helping people through their loss and grief, acknowledging that a bereavement is often a deeply painful experience.

We also know the importance of the funeral service as a moment for individuals, families and a community to come together to pay their respects to a loved one and to recognise with thanksgiving the life of that person. It is a step along the way as we say our farewells and can be very helpful as a moment both to celebrate the life of your loved one and to start the process of healing our broken hearts.

We are here to help you plan that service and to support you at such times.

The following questions and answers may help you as you think about next steps.

What if I am not a member of Ferryhill Parish Church?

Our care and concern is for all those who live within our parish, whether a church member or not, and whether you have faith or not yourself. We are here to support you at times such as these and will do what we can to offer that help.

Where will the funeral service take place?

You have options here. Services can be held in Ferryhill Parish Church itself or at a Funeral Director's own chapel with a committal for the body thereafter either at a crematorium or graveside. Sometimes the funeral service and committal all take place at the crematorium or graveside. And sometimes circumstances mean that the committal will already have taken place before the service: in that case a Memorial Service can be held later at the church at which the person who has died is remembered.

If Ferryhill Parish Church is used the service takes place in the afternoon, usually between 1 and 3 p.m. We do not hold services in the morning as the Foyer of the Church is used each morning for our Coffee Shop.

Who will conduct the service?

If you wish Ferryhill Parish Church to be involved then please let your Funeral Director know and they will get in touch with us to make arrangements. Normally, either the minister, Rev Peter Johnston, or one of our elders who has received training as a Church of Scotland Funeral Celebrant, Yvonne Haig, will conduct the service.

Can family/friends be involved in the service?

Yes, absolutely. This can take many forms. The person conducting the service will meet with you and talk with you about the service and about your loved one's life. They will help you to decide on any music to be used or hymns that will be sung and to talk about what else will be contained in the service.

If a family member or friend wishes to give the eulogy, read a poem, sing a song or play a musical piece in tribute, these can be incorporated into the service and the church representative will give you guidance on these based on their experience.

Can we show photographs?

Yes. Ferryhill Parish Church has a full audio-visual system that means we can show photographs or videos as part of the service. It can be very powerful to show photographs during the eulogy. The process of both talking through your loved one's life with the church representative and picking out suitable photographs can also be very therapeutic for family and friends. Aberdeen crematorium has a similar facility.

What will the funeral service be like?

While most funeral services have certain elements that are common, each one is different as it is tailored to suit the particular situation.

A service led by the Minister or Funeral Celebrant will be a Christian one and will usually incorporate a reading from the Bible and a prayer. These will be incorporated into the service in such a way as to help those at the funeral service through their emotions, offering the chance to remember, to give thanks, to seek healing and offer hope.

Funeral services can be filled with many different emotions: sometimes tears, of course, at other times laughter in remembering funny stories, but we always strive to make them meaningful and appropriate for the person and family.

What if someone is unable to be present at the service?

At Ferryhill Parish Church we have two ways in which we can help in this situation. We have the facility to live stream the service online and thus can give family members a weblink which they can share with those who cannot be present in person so that they can either join online from anywhere in the world live or watch the service later. We also produce a booklet after the service that contains what was said during the service by the person conducting the service to provide a permanent memory of this special service. Extra copies can be requested as needed.

What will it cost?

The Church of Scotland is very aware of the expense of funeral services and has been working with others to raise this concern across the country.

There is no fee or cost associated with the services of either the Minister or our Funeral Celebrant. If the service is held at the Funeral Director's chapel, crematorium or graveside there is thus no charge from Ferryhill Parish Church.

If the church building is used there is no charge for the actual use of the church building, but there is a cost for the services of some of the other people that are involved in the service: organist (£70), church officer (£50), sound/AV operator (£50).

What happens after the service?

You will usually receive a visit from someone from the church with copies of the service booklet (and often flowers too). The Minister and Funeral Celebrant are also always available thereafter to provide further support as may be required.

We will also provide you with an opportunity to add the name of your loved one to the Book of Remembrance that is held in the church and which is available to view every day. Each day of the year has a separate page and we add names to the appropriate page for the date of death. Every day the book is turned to that day's page.

In addition each year on the Sunday nearest to All Saint's Day (1 November) we have a special evening service for those who want to remember a loved one and at which we recite all the names that have been added to the Book of Remembrance during that year.

Contact Information

Church Office

Telephone: 01224 213093

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Minister (Rev Peter Johnston)

Telephone: 01224 949192

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