Arranging a Funeral

Both the vicar and other ministers within the benefice are licensed to take funeral services in our three churches and at local crematoria. If you would like a minister to conduct a funeral service then the usual process is to tell this to the funeral director when you come to plan the service, and they will then contact the minister to confirm their availability and, if necessary, that of the church.

The minister will then contact you to arrange a time to meet and plan the service in more detail, including eulogies, prayers, hymns and other music. If a Church of England minister conducts the service they must follow the Church of England funeral liturgy, but within this framework there is scope for a creative touch to make the service personal.

The Church of England funerals website has plenty of useful information.

Burials and Interments

All three of the churchyards in the benefice are "closed" for burials, which means that there is no space for new burial plots. However, burials are still possible if a space has already been reserved by faculty, or if there is room in an existing family plot (i.e. if the previous burial was buried deeper into the ground than usual to allow space above).

The interment of ashes is possible in all three churchyards, either in an existing family burial plot or in new or existing plots in Gardens of Remembrance.

St Margaret's Darenth: has a Garden of Remembrance on the right hand side of the church path. There is a large stone on which the names of those interred there may be engraved.

St Mary's Horton Kirby: has Gardens of Remembrance in the churchyard, but is also situated opposite a burial ground owned by Horton Kirby and South Darenth Parish Council. The parish clerk must be contacted to arrange a burial or interment in this ground.

St John's Sutton-at-Hone: the burial ground is owned and maintained by Sutton-at-Hone and Hawley Parish Council. Again, the parish clerk must be contacted to arrange a burial or interment there.

Living with Grief

There are many people within the church congregation who have known grief and loss, and so the church is well placed to offer support at difficult times. You are always welcome at services, which are followed by refreshments and are an opportunity to make friends. A "Friendship Club" meets at St Margaret's Darenth from around 11.30am for lunch and often a speaker, on every second Wednesday of the month. Tea and cake at St Mary's Horton Kirby from 2pm to 4pm on Tuesdays during school term-time offers another opportunity for companionship. If you want to talk with a minister, please don't hesitate to contact the vicar.