St Mary's Church, Westonzoyland
The death of a loved one is a very distressing time and with it comes a lot of pressure and stress. There is much to do and to arrange. In the past the first person to know about a death was the parish vicar who was able to help. The vicar often visited the person before death and at times sat with them bringing comfort. This still happens some of the time.
The role of the parish vicar remains the same as it always has been. The vicar is there for everyone in the parish whether they come to church regularly or not. The same is true of the building. The tendency now is to call the funeral director first. We are blessed in Westonzoyland with our own funeral director Nigel Gillard whose locally run business is Bridgwater Funeral Services.
Funeral directors will provide the service required but there is a tendency not to involve, or even tell, the local vicar that there has been a death in the village. Historically the undertakers always told the clergy of a death even when they were not required. If a family do not wish to use the local vicar that is their choice of course. However if you elect to have a cremation service some of the people being used by funeral directors to conduct services at the crematorium are not recognised by any of the mainstream churches in this country. If you are going to use the minister the undertakers recommend I urge you to ask which church authority the minister is accountable to.
The crematorium has half an hour slots, which means that there is little more than fifteen minutes in which to conduct the service. Often parts of the service have to be left out. This is not at all satisfactory for a proper service to honour the loved one. This means that those grieving can be left with a sense of a hurried process at this important time.
Please do consider using the church for this very important rite of passage. There are several good reasons for this. St Marys Church is the communal building for the community to gather at significant times in peoples lives. There is plenty of time for the service. This means that there is a great deal of flexibility in the service. Most funerals use hymns, the crematorium no longer use an organist, the organist was made redundant to save costs, which means they only used recorded music which does not have the same feel to it. I note that the cost saving has not resulted in a reduction of the crematorium fees. Westonzoyland Church now has a very good sound system on which any music can be played as well as organists who are always available. Please be assured that the building and a vicar will always be available for the service at whatever time is required for anyone in the community.
St Marys Westonzoyland Funeral fees.
The service fees are set by parliament and are reviewed annually. They are set from the 1st of January each year.
Other fees are set by the Parochial Church Council following the guidelines set out by the Diocese of Bath & Wells.
This is for information only. The fees are included in the funeral directors bill and paid to the church by them.
The Ministers fee is paid to the Diocese of Bath & Wells by the Parochial Church Council and does not go to the minister personally.