Charles Stephens Reception

Funeral Plans and Arrangements

We understand how hard it is to lose a loved one.

We understand how hard it is to lose a loved one, and when someone has died, planning a funeral can be a stressful process while you are dealing with bereavement and working through a lot of important documents.

Whether you’re organising a funeral or a memorial service, we understand that having a planning checklist can help take the worry away during this sensitive period, particularly when you are working through the funeral costs.

Follow our step-by-step checklist to planning the funeral service and tick off all the important requirements to give your loved one the send-off they deserve.

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Before contacting a funeral director

Register the death. The deceased must be registered dead within five working days of them passing away.

Did your loved one leave any requests for their funeral? When you’re planning a funeral, always check the will of your loved one to understand if they had made any special requests to include in the funeral service. The person who died may have arranged for a pre-paid funeral plan prior to their passing as their way to try and help their family and friends during this difficult time.

What type of funeral is required? Before contacting a funeral director it’s good to understand what type of funeral is required. This can range from the type of religion to whether you’re to arrange a cremation or a burial.

Don’t rush into making a decision. Planning a funeral is stressful enough alongside the bereavement process you’re going through. Take your time to understand what is required for each part of arranging a funeral.

At Charles Stephens, we will contact you to arrange a suitable time and place to meet with you to begin discussing arrangements. This can be at your local Charles Stephens branch or, if you prefer, somewhere else such as your home. And when you meet us, we can advise you on what to do next and take care of all the necessary funeral arrangements. You’ll have a member of staff available to speak to 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year for support.

Matters to Consider

Below are a few points you may wish to discuss or consider with your family and friends before meeting the Funeral Director. We are here to guide and advise you on all aspects of the funeral and the points below are purely for reference.

  1. Plan the funeral ceremony

Discuss the type of services you would like to arrange, and whether you have any bespoke requests based on your loved ones will, or detail any preferences on what to include during the ceremony. This will include the following considerations:

  • Burial or Cremation
  • Style of coffin
  • Flower arrangements
  • Service sheets – order of service
  • Donations
  • Keepsakes
  • What to do with the cremated remains
  • Memorial Mason
  • Type of hearse
  • Venue
  • Music

Funeral bearers are present at all Charles Stephens funerals but should any family members wish to bear the coffin into chapel please let us know.

  1. Notify mourners

Once you have a date arranged for the funeral service, contact close friends and family members to let them know so that they can make arrangements. This can be done by sending a formal invitation where attendees can accept or decline, releasing a newspaper notice (where appropriate), and posting on Facebook. 

The deadline to place a notice in The Wirral Globe or The Wirral News is Monday at 4pm in order for the notice to appear in that week’s edition. At Charles Stephens, we also deal with many other newspapers including The Chester Chronicle and The Daily Telegraph.

  1. Where to host the wake

Once you have a good idea of how many people will attend, this can help you decide on where to host the wake. Often, people decide to host the wake at their family home, or others prefer to hire out a venue who can help with the catering and refreshments.

  1. Whether to see the body

As part of the grieving process, you, your family and friends may decide that you would prefer to spend time with to and see the deceased. This can be arranged to visit them in a chapel of rest where, in private, you can sit with your loved one before the funeral service. 

As your funeral director, with Charles Stephens your loved one will be transferred to our Clifton House branch in Rock Ferry or to our Mellock Lane branch in Little Neston. This will depend on the initial location. If you would like to visit your loved one, once all the necessary preparations have been completed, we can transfer them to your preferred chapel of rest. We ask that appointments are made if you wish to visit either in or out of office hours.

  1. Choose the flowers

There are many types of flowers and arrangements to choose from, and many people who would like to attend the funeral will also want to donate to the display or bring their own. The funeral director will be able to advise on what types of flowers they recommend for the funeral service and where to forward them after the ceremony. 

  1. Organise the order of service

The length of a service tends to run for 30-40 minutes. During this part of arranging a funeral, you will discuss with the officiant and funeral director whether anyone would like to speak during the service; at what time the music will be played; when to give thanks to family and friends for their contributions, and who will give the eulogy.

  1. Choose hymns & music

Music is a very personal choice; people often select songs to play during the service which best represent the memories shared with your loved one, music that they particularly enjoyed or a song that represents who they were as a person. 

  1. Choose a eulogy, scripture and poems

Alongside planning for a funeral, make time to write a eulogy you will be proud of. Delivering a eulogy can be seen as a real privilege and the best way to give your loved one the send-off they deserve. Practice your speech ahead of the service and test it out in front of a friend to ensure it reads clearly. As a backup, ask someone close to read it out in case on the day you don’t feel up to it. Funerals can be hard going as much as they can provide relief once they’re over, you may not know how you’re going to react on the day so it’s good to have a backup. 

Similarly to choosing a eulogy, poems are a good alternative and can be read out by either yourself or friends and family. Confirm who will read this out ahead of the service so it can be organised into the order of service. 

  1. Attending a funeral

On the day of service, it’s ok to allow yourself to feel the emotions felt from the death of a loved one. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn at a funeral, as long as you’re respectful to those around you who are also going through a similar process. 

Some people find attending a funeral very overwhelming, whereas others may surprise themselves and share a few jokes with their friends and family, exchanging positive memories about the person who has passed as everyone connected to them is in one room together.

After the funeral service

Once the day of the funeral is over, it’s optional to send thank you letters to those who attended. If attendees have donated flowers, you may decide to keep these in your home or to donate them to the cemetery.

Coping with the loss of a loved one isn’t an easy feat and planning a funeral can feel like a weighted task given the circumstances. A funeral director can help make the process of organising a memorial or cremation a weight off your mind so you can be available to support your family when they need you.

Useful Information

Arrowe Park Hospital

Tel: 0151 678 5111

Useful Information

Countess of Chester Hospital

Tel: 01244 36500

Useful Information

Wirral Register Office

Tel: 0151 606 2020

Useful Information

Chester Register Office

Tel: 0300 123 7037

Useful Information

Liverpool & Wirral Coroner’s Office

Tel: 0151 225 2770

Useful Information

Cheshire Coroner’s Office

Tel: 01925 442473

Useful Information

Wirral News

Tel: 0151 227 2000

Useful Information

Wirral Globe

Tel: 0151 649 4040

Useful Information

Chester Chronicle

Tel: 01244 606307

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Matters to Consider

Below are a few points you may wish to discuss or consider with your family and friends before meeting the Funeral Director. We are here to guide and advise you on all aspects of the funeral and the points below are purely for reference.

The Service
  • Did your loved one leave any instructions for their funeral service? For instance, have they taken out a pre-paid funeral plan?
  • What type of funeral service is required? A religious service to be carried out by a local parish Vicar or Priest. Or a civil ceremony which is officiated by a Civil Celebrant or a Humanist service carried out by Humanist officiant.
  • What music would you like to be played at the funeral? Consider music choices such as favourite hymns or songs for during the service and music for entering and leaving the funeral service. Please advise us of the title and artist.
  • Are service sheets or an order of service required? If so, consider what quantity you will need. An order of service can be beautifully personalised with photographs.
  • Funeral bearers are present at all Charles Stephens funerals but should any family members wish to bear the coffin into chapel please let us know.
  • Would you like to provide clothing for your loved one or would you prefer a funeral gown to be provided?
Chapels of Rest
  • Do you wish to visit your loved one at one of our Chapels of Rest? If so, which chapel would you prefer? We have Chapels of Rest at our Bromborough, Heswall, West Kirby, Mellock Lane and Rock Ferry premises.
Flowers & Donations
  • Would you like family flowers or would you prefer donations to a charity of your own choice? Funeral flowers can be ordered via our own florist or any independent florist.
  • Consider whether to leave funeral flowers at Landican Crematorium after the service or to donate them instead to a local nursing home or hospice.
  • Would you like donations to be collected after the service? If so, to which charity?
Obituary
  • Is an obituary notice required? If so, which paper would you like the notice to appear in? The deadline to place a notice in The Wirral Globe or The Wirral News is Monday at 4pm in order for the notice to appear in that week’s edition. We deal with many other newspapers including The Chester Chronicle and The Daily Telegraph.

Contact A Branch

  • Rock Ferry
  • Bromborough
  • Claughton
  • Heswall
  • Mellock Lane
  • Neston
  • West Kirby

Rock Ferry Branch

(Head office)

Rock Ferry is our flagship branch and Head Office for Charles Stephens.

Clifton House
215 Bebington Road
Rock Ferry
Wirral
CH42 4QA
0151-645-4396
reception@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm
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Bromborough Branch

146 Allport Road
Bromborough
Wirral
CH62 6BB
0151-334-1727
kate.friar@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm
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Claughton Branch

32 Upton Road
Claughton
Wirral
CH41 0DF
0151-653-0077
claughton@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm
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Heswall Branch

Castle Buildings
179 Telegraph Road
Heswall
Wirral
CH60 7SE
0151-342-6949
Diane.OBrien@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm
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Mellock Lane Branch

31 Mellock Lane
Little Neston
Cheshire
CH64 4BN
0151-353-1954
mellocklane@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: Appointment Only
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Neston Branch

Miniver House
The Cross
Neston
Cheshire
CH64 9UB
0151-336-4184
mark.ashton@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 4.30pm
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West Kirby Branch

17 Banks Road
West Kirby
Wirral
CH48 0QX
0151-625-6030
richard.mcdowell@charles-stephens.com
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm
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Contact Us

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