St Paul's is well known because of its Memorial Services for members of the theatre and entertainment community. The following information may be useful to you if you are beginning plan such services.
After reading this information it is necessary to call the Rector to make an appointment to discuss further planning (020 7836 5221).
Planning a Memorial Service at St Paul's, Covent Garden
There is a lot of work involved in planning a Memorial Service for a loved one and, or course, as each service is carefully thought through, similar questions are raised by family and friends. These notes intend to help you in preparation for your meeting with the Rector.
Day and Time
These can be arranged with Church staff. It is a good plan for the service to last around 50 minutes.
Normally the Rector would officiate at the service. However, if there is a priest or minister known to the family and it is thought appropriate for them to lead the service. then the Rector is more than happy for this arrangement to be put in place.
It is vitally important that the service capture something of the person whose life is being remembered and celebrated. A musician's memorial service is likely to have more music than others, and a writer's to have more readings. On the whole though a typical service would be shaped in the following fashion:
- Music before the service
- Welcome and short introduction ("The Bidding") by the Officiant
- Readings, tributes and musical interlude.
- Music for exit
The Rector can give you copies of former services for you look through when you meet him. You will need choose the readers, tribute-givers and other performers with great care. it is important to remind all of them that the duration of each contribution needs to be limited in accordance with your wishes and with an eye on the duration of the whole service.
The readings may be chosen by you or the readers. It is normal that at least one of the readings should be from the Bible. There is a grand piano in the church, and an organ. The church does not have a professional choir but, when required, the professional choir of St John's Wood often sing at St Paul's.
If you would like the details for Michael Cayton Choirmaster of the St. John's Wood Choir please let the Rector know.
We have our own organist at St Paul's, Simon Gutteridge. and you can contact him direct on 020 8870 4082 to book him and discuss music in the service. The prayers are usually led by the Officient but may be offered by someone else if desired.
At the end of the service it is usual to have a retiring collection. This may well be for St Paul's Church or for a charity whose work relates in some way to your loved one. It is necessary to put a note at the end of the service sheet as to whom the collection is being taken for.
We ask for a donation for the service to take place in St Paul's and do not have a set fee. At the moment the average donation is around £1,000. If you are a UK taxpayer it would also be an enormous help if you would Gift Aid your donation. If you would find it difficult make such a donation to the church please feel free to discuss this with the Rector.
Flowers and Pictures
Flowers may be placed in the church. A good florist is The Flower Stall. You can speak to Sarah James on 020 7497 1200.
Some families also like to have a picture or collage placed in the church for the service as well. Stands for such presentations can be provided by us.
The drafting and printing of service sheets is your responsibility. The church logo must be printed on the service sheet. It is important to print all words of the hymns on the sheets. It is also important to ensure that all contributors are asked how they wish be styled. A draft copy must be supplied the Rector at least 1 week prior to printing.
It is helpful of you can get two or three people to be ushers at the service to look after hospitality and order.
Church Staff telephone numbers
Church Organist. Simon Gutteridge 020 8870 4082.
The Flower Stall. Sarah James 020 7497 1200.
St. Paul's Church Choir. Choirmaster Nick Gallagher 020 8780 7613.
Church Office. 020 7836 5221.
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