Planning a funeral service

Planning a funeral

From initial arrangements, to planning the funeral, holding the service and even arranging bereavement support and counselling, our teams are available to see you through this difficult time at every stage.

The most common service now is cremation. They can be religious or non-religious, and you may choose not to have a service at all. Typical burials are in a churchyard or cemetery and can be subject to local regulations and availability. An eco funeral makes use of an alternate natural burial ground, usually in woodland or a countryside setting. It involves certain decisions being made to reduce environmental impact and preserve natural habitat.

The cost of the funeral is made up of the following;

  • Professional fees – support, personnel for funeral, provision of hearse, cost of coffin or casket, mileage, etc
  • Optional Services – order of service, flowers, obituary, release of doves, etc
  • Disbursements – third party fees, such as church, crematorium, minister, etc
  • For further information, see our Pricing page

The coffin is usually taken to the funeral location in a procession of vehicles known as a cortege. The most popular vehicle for this is still the hearse, with additional cars from our fleet of Jaguar vehicles available for transporting family.

Over and above our traditional fleet, we also offer many other options to fully reflect the personality and lifestyle of the individual concerned. These include:

  • A horse-drawn hearse pulled by black Friesian horses (available in 2s, 4s, or 6s)
  • A white horse-drawn hearse pulled by white horses (available in 2s, 4s, or 6s)
  • Vintage Austin hearse
  • Motorcycle and sidecar hearse
  • Motorised trike hearse
  • Vintage lorries
  • VW hearse
  • 4×4 hearse
  • Double decker hearse
  • A hearse in white, pink or green

A personal and bespoke Order of Service can be created by our in-house team to ensure your requirements are perfectly met. Other funeral stationery is also available, such as a selection of beautifully designed attendance cards, memorial cards and bookmarks. Funeral stationery is a simple way of personalising a funeral and creates a unique commemoration.

We can liaise with your local newspaper to design an obituary specifically for the departed.

However more and more people are choosing to place an online obituary. With the assistance of our partner, Funeral Zone, all those who knew your loved one have the opportunity to pay their respects and reflect on your loved one’s life, from wherever they happen to be in the world.

As well as this convenience, the online obituary service offers you an efficient way to inform family and friends of funeral details, and can include photos, a biography, and can be set up to allow donations via a partnership with Just Giving.

For more information, visit our tribute page.

Many people chose some form of permanent memorialisation to provide a family with a lasting focal point to provide healing and strength. From headstones to urns, plaques to figures, we fully guarantee the quality workmanship which is manufactured to British Standards.

Alternatively, flowers laid at a funeral often have great personal significance. These can be preserved and framed alongside special items or a photograph. You can also dedicate trees in a selection of woods around the UK, or personalise benches. Some crematoria will also allow trees to be planted on your loved one’s behalf too, and there are a wide selection of keepsakes available for those wishing to keep some of their beloved’s ashes.

Many people don’t have a final resting place in mind when it comes to ashes, and we strongly recommend taking your time over making a decision. With this in mind, we are pleased to hold ashes, without charge, for up to three months following a funeral.

Ashes can be scattered, buried or kept, and our Family Liaison Officers can assist with your options and even handle the permissions needed from various authorities on your behalf. Those wishing to keep a sample, we have a wide range of options – some are (literally) out of this world. These include; turning ashes into glass (paperweights, pendants, etc), into fireworks, into jewellery, or even into a diamond ‘LifeGem’.

The death of a family member or friend can be one of the most traumatic experiences in anyone’s life and many people find it hard to come to terms with such a loss. Often, people will find the strength to cope with a bereavement immediately following the death, but will struggle after the funeral when life is supposed to return to normal. Coping with this is often a solitary process, frequently faced without the aid of family or professional help.

Chelmsford Star Funeral Services has been running a number of support groups for over 10 years, recognising that our duty of care doesn’t end when the funeral does. These support groups are completely free, and open to all who are bereaved – any age, creed, religion, or length of bereavement. We believe this help is so important, you are welcome even if you didn’t use our services for the funeral.

The meetings are informal, and attended by people who understand what you are going through. You don’t even have to talk if you are not ready, simply join one of our welcoming sessions and enjoy some company – along with a cup of tea, coffee and a biscuit.

Visit your local branch page for details of your nearest bereavement group.

Some people may find group support overwhelming, and we are proud to be able to offer a free one-to-one counseling service to those struggling to cope.

Our trained counsellor, Jill Rushbrook, will provide you with a course of six 50 minute sessions, held in a comfortable and provide room. Everything is 100% confidential, and countless clients have found this immensely helpful to turn the grieving process into the healing process.

View our coffins and caskets

View our selection of flowers