The importance of good relationships with the Funeral Director
When it comes to supporting families in a time of need, Funeral Directors and clergy have the same aims. A great partnership and a commitment to best practice will result in better funerals, and a foundation for building longer term relationships with families.
It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of the relationship between those who take funerals and the Funeral Directors who are organising them. Independent research clearly shows that Funeral Directors are important to the bereaved, their advice is trusted and their help appreciated. Ultimately, the Funeral Director trusts the most public and visible part of their business to the person conducting the ceremony.
Funeral Directors want a celebrant who:
- Meets the needs of the family
- Is easy to work with, which means available and customer-focused.
Unfortunately, research with funeral directors revealed that all too often Anglican clergy have a reputation for disorganisation, making bad mistakes and applying rules too rigidly which can sometimes alienate and hurt families.
However, the good news is that the quality of relationship between the local Anglican cleric or lay leader at a funeral and the Funeral Director can make an enormous difference.
Things have changed significantly in the last twenty or so years, and now the local Church in Wales clerics and lay ministers are just one choice amongst many, so it’s really important that locally, clerics and ministers invest in this relationship and show that it is valued.
Practical ideas include:
- Invite Funeral Directors along to licensing and other special events in the life of the church. Include their business in your cycle of prayers.
- Make sure your local Funeral Directors and their staff understand all that a Church in Wales funeral offers. This means making sure they know that you will take funerals at a crematorium and a green burial site, but also that the church is available to families.
- Ask them for feedback – they will have seen more funerals than almost anyone else.
- Take time to get to know them and their concerns, offering pastoral care as needed.
- Make sure they know when clergy and other ministers are unavailable, and who to contact if they need someone.
- Give them mobile numbers and other means of contact.