Funerals | St Peter's Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted


The sacred space of St Peter’s offers a place of beauty and tranquillity for funeral ceremonies in the presence of God.

A funeral at St Peter’s offers a time to give thanks for a life, to pray for those whom we love but see no longer, and to pray for ourselves as we seek God’s comfort. The Christian hope is that death is not the end, and even amid grief, we celebrate this hope together.

What to do if someone has died

If you wish to arrange a funeral or memorial service at St Peter’s, it is best to get in touch with a funeral director. They will be able to arrange the funeral date with St Peter’s Church and a crematorium or cemetery. There are some suggested contacts on this page.

When a loved one passes from this life, it can be a time of distress. You may find it helpful to speak to one of our clergy. If you would like one of the clergy to visit you, we are always are always happy to arrange this. You can contact the Rector using the contact details at the bottom of this page. If he is not available, you can leave a voicemail – he will get back to you. We will do all that we can to support you at this difficult time.

The funeral service

The service can be a simple ceremony of prayers, or you may wish to include music. The usual form is to hold a funeral service in St Peter’s, followed by a cremation or cemetery burial immediately afterwards. The presiding priest or reader can also officiate at this committal ceremony.

There is a useful guide to funeral services on the Church of England website. It is sensitively written and addresses some common questions. Here are some things you will need to consider when arranging a funeral:

  • Hymns: please advise your funeral director if you would like to sing hymns, so that we can book an organist. We have compiled a list of suggested hymns, but you may prefer to select your own favourites. A maximum of three hymns is recommended.
  • Bells: semi-muffled bells or a single toll can be rung. Please advise your funeral director so that we can book ringers.
  • Recorded music: many people like to include a piece of recorded music at the entrance and/or exit of the coffin. Please supply a CD to St Peter’s at least three days before the funeral so that we can check that it plays (occasionally there may be playback problems, e.g. with a faulty CD, so it is important to check this well in advance).
  • Video: sometimes, people have family members who live far away who are unable to attend the funeral. Video recording or live streaming the service can be a lovely way of including distant relatives. St Peter’s is unable to offer a video service, but we can suggest video companies who specialise in recording ceremonies.
  • Order of service: your funeral director will be able to provide orders of service
  • Parking: A space is reserved for a hearse in front of St Peter’s Church. St Peter’s does not own the car park next to the church, and visitor parking is severely limited on weekdays. We suggest the public car parks nearby:
    • Water Lane (max 2 hours) – behind Tesco – 1 minute’s walk away
    • Lower Kings Road Multi-storey (long stay) next to Waitrose – 5 minutes’ walk away

    At weekends, limited parking is available next to the church.

Grief and Loss Support

St Peter’s also offers a Grief and Loss Support Group to support those who have been bereaved. Even if you are experiencing grief for someone who died several years ago, you are welcome to get in touch in confidence.



You may wish to hold a reception for mourners after the funeral. The Court House next to St Peter’s Church offers a bookable space with a fully equipped kitchen. You can book this online on the Court House website.

St Peter’s Parish Office can also suggest caterers, if you wish to offer a buffet and refreshments. If the Court House is not available, we can suggest alternative venues.


Interring ashes

Ashes interment in Rectory Lane Cemetery

After a cremation, many people like to place the ashes of a loved one in a sacred space.

You may consider interring ashes in St Peter’s churchyard, or in the nearby historic cemetery on Rectory Lane. There’s more information about this on our Interring ashes page.



Creating a lasting memorial for someone who has passed away is a special way to cherish their memory. There is an option to commission a glass tile on the beautiful Celebration of Life Wall in Rectory Lane Cemetery, with a personalised message.



photo of Parish Office

Parish Office

 01442 878227
photo of Fr Stuart Owen

Fr Stuart Owen

Rector & Rural Dean
 01442 879739