Shropshire Council

Civil funerals

When someone passes away, families and friends are the ones left with the difficult task of planning and arranging the funeral service. The main concern is always to ensure that the ceremony is carried out with dignity and, above all, a fitting celebration and testimony of the life of their loved one. For those with no particular religious beliefs, a civil ceremony provides an alternative to the religious ceremony.

What is a civil funeral?

A civil funeral service is a ceremony that has no religious content and which concerns itself entirely with remembering and celebrating the life of the person who has died.

How is the ceremony put together?

We'll work with you every step of the way to create a truly individual picture of the life and times of the person you've lost. We'll use your recollections, memories and anecdotes, and those of other close friends or family members to assemble the ceremony. We'll talk to you about the things you'd like to be included in the ceremony, and we'll make sure that you're happy with its content and accuracy before the day of the funeral, giving you every chance to make changes if necessary.

The usual format of a civil funeral is as follows, but can be adapted to suit your wishes or those of the deceased:

  • Music for processional
  • Introduction
  • Opening words
  • Reading / address by friend or family member
  • Acknowledging the circumstances
  • Tribute
  • Reading / address by friend or family member
  • Time for reflection (musical)
  • Reading / address by friend or family member
  • Committal / farewell (music can be included here)
  • Closing words
  • Music

Where can a civil funeral be held?

A ceremony can be held almost anywhere that you wish, and is appropriate for cremations, burials at non-religious burial grounds or woodland burial sites.

Who conducts the ceremony?

The service will be conducted by one of our excellent, trained celebrants.

How much does a civil funeral cost?

The cost of civil funerals are usually arranged through the funeral directors, who we bill direct. For 2019/2020 the cost is £190.

How do I arrange a civil funeral service?

Usually you'd speak to your funeral director, who'll contact our service on your behalf. We'll then contact you directly and make arrangements to meet you. To contact Shropshire Register Office directly please call 0345 678 9016.