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This guidance for funerals is laid down by Public Health England and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference. The prime objective of the guidance is to keep everyone safe.

You must follow this guidance, for your safety and that of others, if a funeral is to be held at Holy Family.

How many people can attend the church?

A maximum of 30 people can attend church for a funeral service.
The names and contact details of all mourners are required for NHS Track & Trace (these will be kept for 21 days and then destroyed).
These details must be supplied in advance of the funeral, as it is inappropriate and intrusive to collect them on the day, and possibly delay entry into church, but we are legally required to collect them. Please co-operate with us on this matter.

How will mourners know where to sit?

All mourners will be directed by trained volunteer stewards to individual or family seats within the church. These will be allocated in order of arrival and have been carefully planned to minimise contact and maximise social distance. A change of seat is not possible due to cleaning requirements once a seat has been used.

Can mourners be involved in the service?

Unfortunately, the rules currently are that only the priest is allowed on the sanctuary and only the priest is allowed to face the congregation to speak or read. This means that mourners are not able to partake in readings, bidding prayers or eulogy. The possibility is that mourners can agree readings, written prayers or eulogy with the priest who will read them on their behalf.

Can we sing hymns?

No - there can be no singing by the congregation at this time. However it is possible to play pieces of music or recorded hymns over the church sound system, but these need to be arranged in advance and a list agreed with the priest who will organise the appropriate people to assist with this.

Do we need to wear face coverings?

Face coverings must be worn at all times from arriving at the church gates at the beginning to leaving the church gates at the end of the service. If the service includes a Requiem Mass with Holy Communion, instructions will be given about where and how to receive communion safely. Please follow these instructions. Stewards will assist and direct at the appropriate time.

Can we have service booklets?

If service booklets are provided, they must not be handed out to people as they come in, but must be distributed in a safe, no-touch manner onto the seats where the mourners will sit. These must be taken home from the church as you leave. Anything left behind will be destroyed.

Can we sit, kneel and genuflect as usual?

Please do not genuflect or kneel, but make a respectful bow as you enter & exit, and sit & stand for the service. This reduces the amount of contact that individuals have with the pews and kneelers, minimises the risks of transmitting infection to others and reduces the amount of cleaning required by volunteers.

Will there be a collection?

No but there will be an opportunity for the collection of donations to the parish in the porch on entrance and exit.