If it’s a religious funeral you want, you probably already know all you need to know. But just in case you don’t…

If you want a non-Church of England funeral (Roman Catholic, Muslim, Sikh…) contact your nearest place of worship.

In England, you are entitled to a C of E funeral in your parish church whether or not you’ve ever been to church. This is because the C of E is the state religion. So Muslims and Sikhs are entitled to a C of E funeral, too (not that they choose to have one, obviously).


Because a lot of people have a semi-detached relationship with the Church of England, but want a C of E funeral, the workload for parish priests can be heavy.

If you want your parish priest to conduct the service, dig your toes in and insist. You’ll have to work around their availability.

If you want a minister who is not the local vicar, you can ask your funeral director to find one.

If you are not using a funeral director, contact the crematorium and see if they can put you in touch with someone.


Many people, and funeral directors, find that when they phone the parish priest he or she is busy and can’t answer. They can be hard to get hold of.

A number of parish priests don’t like conducting funerals for people they don’t know – it’s just work.

Some parishes will be members of a central hub: when you or the funeral director call they will be able to assign someone at once – though that person may be a Lay Reader, not an ordained priest.

There’s likely to be quite a big pool of retired vicars and ministers of other denominations in your area.

They don’t advertise, so you’ll have to contact them through a funeral director, though your crematorium is likely to be able to help you.