Gillotts Funeral Directors have generations of experience in arranging funerals and we’re therefore able to provide the appropriate help and support for families, whether the occasion is small and simple, or grand and elaborate.
Every funeral is unique and whether it’s a religious or non-religious event, families always want to create an occasion which is personal and reflects the life of the person who’s died.
When organising the finer details of the funeral itself, your Funeral Arranger can help with a range of different tasks involved, such as arranging a celebrant, selecting music, and writing newspaper notices. Our role is to ensure that the occasion is relevant and appropriate for you and your family.
What happens first?
We are happy to meet with families at our premises, and we have adapted our family rooms to comply with social distancing guidelines to accommodate our member of staff and up to three family members. If you prefer us to visit you at home, we are willing to do that as long as all of the people within the home are from a single household or support bubble. Alternatively, we can complete all of the necessary paperwork electronically without the need for our client to visit our premises.
Our online brochure is available here – this gives a starting price for a Bespoke funeral and also the cost and specifications for our two lower-cost packages; the Limited Funeral Package and the Direct Cremation Package. The brochure also shows the vehicles, coffins, urns, funeral flowers and memorialisation options we have available. You are welcome to go through this brochure before meeting with us to begin making some choices.
Your Funeral Arranger will discuss what decisions have already been made relating to the funeral – either by the family or the deceased themselves. We will then guide the family through some of the aspects they may not yet have considered – providing options, possible alternatives and advice.
There are often matters which require more thought, or consultation with other members of the family and this is quite normal. Your Funeral Arranger will make a note of these matters and be able to advise you how long you have until a final decision is needed.
We will also give information about formalities which need to be considered, such as registering the death, and other matters which may be relevant, such as Coroners’ procedures, or transfer of grave ownership.
As well as planning the format of the funeral day itself, for Bespoke funerals we can provide a range of additional services, such as placing of newspaper notices, handling of donations in lieu of flowers, provision of Order of Service sheets and floral tributes. We can also provide more unusual touches such as Dove Release or a Scottish Piper.
Your Funeral Arranger will guide the family through all of the options available to you, and will provide an estimate of the likely costs and discuss how these are to be met.
We will then make the appropriate arrangements with local authorities, churches and officiants at the earliest opportunity,
Arranging an officiant
If the funeral service is to be held at a place of worship such as your local parish Church, then the person taking the service will be one of the ministers or elders associated with that Church.
If the service is to take place at another venue, such as the Crematorium or Cemetery Chapel, then the choice of officiant is wider, and your funeral arranger will discuss with you the type of service you would like to hold. This could range from a traditional Church of England service to a completely non-religious ceremony. Sometimes, family members may personally know the person they would like to take the service, and we will begin by contacting them before we make any further arrangements, to ensure that they are available to take the service.
We are experienced in arranging funerals for various world faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hindism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
If a traditional Christian service is required, we can approach the Church of England minister from the Parish where the deceased lived, or a retired or independent minister from the local area.
For those who would like the religious content of the service to be lighter, we can enlist the services of a celebrant to provide a dignified funeral service, with your desired blend of content.
If religious content is not appropriate, we can enlist the services of a civil celebrant or secular humanist. Please note that some humanists are not willing to include religious references, such as hymns or prayers in a ceremony they are conducting so you may wish to consider if this is appropriate before making this choice.
Clergy and celebrants normally charge a fee, which we will pay on your behalf. This fee forms part of the Third Party Fees within the Funeral Account.
We can help organise special pieces of music to be played at the funeral that are personal and relevant to the life or tastes of your loved one.
All crematoria have digital sound systems and can obtain the more common pieces of music played at funerals. You can choose commercially available music, including popular, classical and religious pieces. We can no longer take CDs to any of our local crematoria.
If the piece of music you’d like is less well known, or if you’d like an organist or Scottish Piper to attend, we will need as much notice as possible to arrange this..
In the absence of specific requests, music played either in church or at a crematorium will normally be chosen by the organist or the crematorium.