Guidance for when a death occurs

Your first reaction may be one of shock or even panic, but please remember that we are ready to do everything possible to help. There are various considerations such as:

If a death occurs at home, you should call the doctor without delay - though if the death is expected and happens at night, you may feel it reasonable to wait until the surgery opens before phoning.  The doctor will provide without charge a certificate showing the cause of death.  If the death was sudden or unexpected, the doctor will also decide whether or not the Coroner should be informed. 

If death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, their staff will take the first steps and say when the doctors certificate can be collected.

Once the doctor has been informed, we hope that you will contact us; your Rector is Rev'd Pippa Madgwick on 01780 721286. We are here to offer a listening ear and to provide spiritual comfort. From the moment you get in touch you will be in our prayers.


As a funeral director cannot register a death, a personal representative of the deceased will need to visit the Registrar. When the death occurs within the benefice then the Rutland Registrar should be informed.  If the death occurs elsewhere then the appropriate office should be contacted.

The Rutland Registry Office is in Oakham, where all meetings with the Registrar are by appointment only.

The funeral director

When a death has been registered, you should now contact a funeral director. The most frequently used in the Benefice are:

Should death occur away from home, it is usually the authorities in the area who attend to initial formalities. Your local funeral director will be able to arrange to bring the body back for the funeral, if this is what relatives wish.

If the Coroner has been notified

Early discussion is particularly useful in these circumstances.  From our knowledge of Coroner’s procedures, the funeral director can usually establish when a certificate is likely to be issued. The date for the funeral depends on this and it is often possible to plan in the normal way without several uncertain days of waiting.

Making arrangements for the funeral

There will be various points to consider including:

  • whether there should be a service in church or a service or other ceremony elsewhere.
  • choices of music for entry and exit from church.
  • the choice of hymns and readings.
  • the nature of the tribute to be given.
  • the choice between cemeteries and crematoria from the point of view of facilities, location and cost.
  • the placing of floral tributes and/or donations to charity.
  • the possible planning of a memorial.

Almighty God,

whose Son Jesus Christ suffered and died for our salvation:

in his name we commit into your hands these your servants.

May they know your presence as they pass through the dark valley, that they fear no evil.

Give them a firm trust in your forgiving love, and full assurance of eternal life

through Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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