Arranging a funeral
When someone dies, there is so much to think about and so much to organise.  The Church understands how difficult this can be, but we can help you to say your final goodbye in a way that helps you.  The Church of England has a helpful website where you can find step by step guides of what you need to do when someone dies, even if you do not necessarily want a funeral service in church.

Can my loved one be buried at Downham church?
St Margaret’s Downham has a churchyard that is still open for burials, however it is rapidly getting filled up therefore we have to abide by strict rules about who is eligible to be buried there. A person is eligible if any of the following apply:

Can I have the funeral service in Downham church?
Yes, we are happy to conduct funeral services in church.  If the deceased is not eligible to be buried in the churchyard the service can be followed by cremation or burial elsewhere.

Can my loved one’s ashes be buried at Downham church?
We have a cremated remains area called the Easter Garden. The same eligibility rules apply as for burial.  Click here to download a leaflet giving more information.
Alternatively, if you already have another family member buried in the churchyard it may be possible for the ashes to be buried with them.

How do I arrange a funeral service at Downham?
Normally your first contact will be with a local funeral director who will make all the necessary arrangements with us.  We have a close relationship with S Carter & Son of Wickford and with F E Farrer of Billericay  Both are independently owned family firms.  There are many other funeral directors operating in the area and we are happy to liaise with any of them.

What does it cost to have a funeral at Downham?
It depends whether you are having just a funeral service, a funeral followed by a burial at the church or a funeral followed by a cremation or burial elsewhere.  Standard fees are set annually by the Church of England.  Your funeral director will advise you of the relevant fees and will add them to your funeral account.