In Loving Memory

Written by on 30 April 2020

In Loving memory is a new feature on Hope FM, in association with Chester Pearce Funeral Service…

During these challenging times it is very difficult to pay tribute to someone who has passed away. So each week on In Loving Memory Blair will be joined by Rev. Jonathan Martin and guests, including Stephen Nimmo from our sponsor, Chester Pearce Funeral Service, to give advice on coping with loss and bereavement.

You can hear the latest from In Loving Memory in the Soundcloud playlist below.

In Loving Memory on Hope FM

Special Radio Memorials…

In Loving Memory is also the place you will hear dedications and special radio memorials. In recognition of this Hope FM in association with Chester Pearce, and the Daily Echo, invite you to honour the life of your loved one on air. Select two pieces of music in their memory and in between the songs being played you can say a few words. If you would like to access this service, please email Blair Crawford at We will provide you with a podcast copy of your tribute which you can share with those who might otherwise have attended the funeral and memorial event.

Our sponsor, Chester Pearce Funeral Service

In these uncertain times for all of us, we want to assure you that we will continue to look after all families who lose a loved one, the majority of who will not be through Covid19. We feel strongly that families should receive the same support from us as they would under normal circumstances, and so will be on hand for our families, to visit as required, and to help build a meaningful service for their loved ones.

We are also available to answer queries relating to the Pandemic and how it might impact funerals moving forward. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01202 612110 or 01202 612210 with any question you may have. We are at your disposal. 

Chester Pearce Funeral Directors

More useful information…

Swan Ceremonies have kindly put together a guide to Planning Funerals that Engage with the Bereaved, and Look Ahead Creatively. You can read it below, or click here for a PDF version (opens in new tab).

SWAN CEREMONIES: FUNERALS, Covid 19, Planning Funerals that Engage with the Bereaved, and Look Ahead Creatively

Funerals. Some ideas to help at this time when numbers attending are limited. If you have additional suggestions to offer kindly email me at: or ring 07525006042. Broadening the opportunity for people to participate has the possibility of helping the grieving process.

What do we have to wrestle with when we do funerals/celebrations of life differently? Because we have got used to a particular way of celebrating a life we can feel guilty when we vary that process, almost as if we think we are betraying the deceased. Looking across the world other ways of saying farewell can work for us if we recognise what we can’t do and seize imaginatively on what we can. In Spain it is usual to bury within 24-48 hours, then have a gathering 9 days later, with a reunion a year later. Why not make this and other cultural norms our own, or adapt them so they work for us? There are other significant advantages to lengthening the process of saying farewell. It helps the grieving process, engages with the community, providing greater support for the bereaved.

  • Webcast, available at some crematorium/ faith community buildings.
  • Facetiming (if permitted), photographs of the place and the service.
  • At Swan we create a script of the whole ceremony, which can be sent to those who might have attended allowing them to follow the ceremony as it happens. This is a good alternative when potential attendees do not have internet access.
  • Virtual site e.g Facebook but restricted to family and friends on which tributes and pictures can be posted with permission from the administrator, and on which live memorial ceremonies might be able to be hosted.
  • Order of service available to those present, and made available to those virtually online (I have seen Dignity do this). No doubt other funeral directors offer this service). Can also be posted to those not attending, along with a script of the service.
  • Emailed copies of tributes, pictures, drawings from those unable to attend can be placed on the coffin, with the sender keeping a copy which is placed in a memory box.
  • Friends and Neighbours lighting candles in the window on the night before a funeral, or on the evening of the funeral
  • After the service take the flowers away, keep, press, and send to those unable to attend. Please remember to handle very carefully, using gloves, and allowing time to pass, thus avoiding the virus being passed on through the handling of flowers .
  • Using Zoom as an alternative device to having a Reception at which there might be times for the sharing of memories, worship music, etc., This is a good alternative to the Reception allowing people to offer their contributions to each other, raise a glass to the deceased, observe a moment’s silence at the same time, or clap at a fixed moment. These actions create a sense of community.
  • When planning, plan the funeral, looking forward. Will there be a memorial service? What is to happen now, and later. If there is to be a funeral, Zoom reception and memorial service think about it as one event spaced out over a period of time, giving an opportunity for thanksgiving, worship, grieving, and celebrating.
  • Be open to new ideas. If I remember correctly in a conversation with a staff member at the Centre for Death Studies, one of the biggest challenges for people at a funeral is that friends, and work colleagues often feel left out of a service which the family or the faith group tend to design. Some of these ideas encourage engagement with all those who knew and loved the deceased.
  • Looking ahead to a gathering in say 3-6 months’ time. The character of the deceased and traditions of the family can be expressed within the gathering. If of a particular faith tradition then a gathering at a faith building may be important. If the theatre or film were interest of the deceased then we have a film studio, a theatre, a gym, and a number of light/bright rooms that can be used. Perhaps part of the family tradition when you gather is to have a BBQ, then have a BBQ, tell stories, and enjoy great food and a drink or two.
  • Looking ahead 1 month or more you may well want to inter ashes on a birthday/wedding anniversary or another important occasion. You may wish to scatter them at sea. Another occasion to mark the life of the deceased and give people time to grieve.
  • Consider using the resource of a local radio station who have the facility to host a small number of memorial events which can be heard across the world. At Swan we have access to that resource.

If you would like more information on any of the above please contact Jonathan Martin on 07525006042 or

©Swan Ceremonies.

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