Funeral Services

A funeral is used to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God’s keeping.

Everyone in the parish is entitled to a Christian funeral service. St Catherine’s doesn’t have a churchyard; so we can only offer a service in the church, followed by a cremation or burial at either West Berks or Reading crematorium. We can also carry out a service for you at either crematorium.

When somebody you love dies, there’s a lot to think about and it can feel overwhelming at the time.

There are some useful resources on the Church of England website (here) which may help you start your thinking about the service for your family member or friend.

But don’t worry – we don’t expect you to ‘know all the answers’. We are here to help you plan the service and to support you in your loss; and we work closely with local Funeral Directors to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

A poem to reflect on:


One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.