Dying is not the end, it is just the beginning. Death is a continuation of life. This is the meaning of eternal life; it is where our soul goes to God, to be in the presence of God, to see God, to speak to God, to continue loving him with greater love. We only surrender our body in death – our heart and our soul live forever. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come; we must live each day as if it were our last so that when God calls us we are ready, and prepared, to die with a clean heart.
Our parish want to support you at a time of bereavement.
We have a Parish Bereavement Team
click here for the reflections given by Fr Tom on that occasion
Please click on the link below for a guide to planning a funeral.
Please click below for the sheets to help you make notes for the funeral for use when you see the Priest or Funeral directores.
You can also view readings for use during the funeral.
These readings are sourced from the Jerusalem Bible and have been grouped into themes. The Gospels follow after:
If there is anything else that you would find useful to have on this page, please contact Trish Bonnett.
Reflections on Grief
Grace Fills in the Gaps
To experience grace is one thing; to integrate it into your life is quite another. —Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss
The following three paragraphs came to me clearly in a very short time while I was walking along the Pacific Ocean during my Lenten hermitage in 2012. I think they sum up why, for me, grace is the key to accepting all deaths—and experiencing all resurrections.
- The goodness of God fills all the gaps of the universe, without discrimination or preference. God is the gratuity of absolutely everything. God is the “Goodness Glue,” the love that holds the dark and light of things together, the free energy that carries all death across the Great Divide and transmutes it into Life. Grace is what God does to keep all things God has made in love and alive—forever. Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. If we are to believe the primary witnesses, an unexplainable goodness is at work in the universe.
- Death is not just our one physical dying, but it is going to the full depth, hitting the bottom, going the distance, beyond where I am in control, and always beyond where I am now. We all die eventually; we have no choice in the matter. But there are degrees of death before the final physical one. If we are honest, we acknowledge that we are dying throughout our life, and this is what we learn if we are attentive: grace is found at the depths and in the death of everything. After these smaller deaths, we know that the only “deadly sin” is to swim on the surface of things, where we never see, find, or desire God or love. This includes even the surface of religion, which might be the worst danger of all. Thus, we must not be afraid of falling, failing, going “down.”
- When we go to the full depths and death, sometimes even the depths of our sin, we can always come out the other side—and the word for that is resurrection. Something or someone builds a bridge for us, recognizable only from the far side, that carries us willingly, or even partly unwilling, across. All that we hear from reputable and reliable sources (mystics, shamans, near-death visitors, and nearing-death experiences) indicates no one is more surprised and delighted than the traveler himself or herself. Something or someone seems to fill the tragic gap between death and life, but only at the point of no return. None of us crosses over by our own effort or merits, purity, or perfection. We are all—from pope, to president, to princess, to peasant—carried across by an uncreated and unearned grace. Worthiness is never the ticket, only deep desire, and the ticket is given in the desiring. The tomb is always finally empty. There are no exceptions to death, and there are no exceptions to grace. And I believe, with good evidence, that there are no exceptions to resurrection. Love truly is stronger than death.
Pain and suffering make life beautiful. This might be hard to believe while you’re suffering, but the lessons you can learn from hardships are jewels to cherish. If you’re suffering, it means you have a heart. Suffering is evidence of your capacity to love, and only those who understand suffering can understand life and help others.
The world needs your suffering, your courage, and your strength. Don’t try to kill your pain. Share it with another, communicate it. If the first person you talk to isn’t the right one, find someone else. Somebody somewhere wants to listen to your pain, to connect with you and understand you. When you find them, when you lighten your burden and discover the jewels and joy that are alive beneath the pain, later you’ll be present for others who are suffering.
Cuong Lu, Wait: A Love Letter to Those in Despair
If you or someone close to you is dying, you can talk to us
We know that facing the end of life can leave you feeling isolated and alone. Our trained helpline volunteers are here to listen and support you.
The Anne Robson Trust Telephone Helpline Launching on
Monday 8th of March
0808 801 0688
Lines are open: Monday to Friday 12-6pm
Calls are completely free from all UK landlines and mobiles
We’re here for you, if you or a loved one is facing the end of life at home, in a hospital, care home or hospice.To find out Why we de
cided to set up our helpline please visit our new website
We are working with our existing partner hospitals to enable Butterfly volunteers to begin to visit the bedside of dying patients as soon as it is safe to do so.
We very much look forward to supporting new hospital partners in the setting up teams of end of life volunteers.
Please support us
By making a donation you will help us bring company and comfort to families as they or their loved one dies.
From our helpline and hospital work, to our workshops and online resources, none of it would be possible without the generosity and commitment of our supporters.
The aim of the It’s Time To Talk workshop is to encourage confidence to have conversations about the end of life and last wishes and what might happen if you became ill.
We hope that by demystifying death and talking about it, we can go some way to reduce the fear and confusion around how and where we die.
- What does the term end of life actually mean
How to talk to someone who is looking after a loved one who is dying or has been bereaved.
- The small things we can do to help create a nurturing environment for everyone involved.
- How to look after yourself as you support a loved one as they die.
It is important to us to try to tailor each workshop to participants needs.
We hope to make the workshops as interactive as possible, so that, if you feel comfortable, you are able to join in the group conversations. That way we can listen and learn from each other’s experiences.
Tuesday 11th May 10 -11.30am
Wednesday 13th May 2 – 3.30pm
To support Dying Matters awareness week 10 -16th May 2021 we have designed a shorter Time to Talk workshop aimed at helping you to begin to think about, talk about and plan for last wishes at the end of life.
Join our workshop and let us help you start the conversation.
At the end of the workshops, members of the Anne Robson Trust Team will remain available online to chat further should any participants wish to continue the conversation.
The Dying Matters movement wants to make sure that you and your loved ones are in a good place to die. #InAGoodPlace
For more information visit
Click on link below
The ‘D’ Word Workshop
Notes from a workshop looking at preparing for and dealing with the death of a loved one.
Please see below for a Bereavement support activity at Walsworth Road Baptist church
News from the team
On 9th December 2017 the Bereavement Group held a service where they created a Jesse tree. The tree was made by Alan Dutt to be used during our Bereavement afternoon of Sharing and Reflection. The idea was for people to write a thought/prayer on the provided shaped pieces of paper to hang them on the tree. After the service the tree was put on the Altar of Remembrance in church for the use of parishioners.
On 13th February the Bereavement Group held a service for those who have been bereaved and 26 people attended. Part of the service was to create a mandala reflecting something about the person who had died. Below are examples of what was created.