For over a thousand years, men and women have come to church at the end of their lives. Our churches of St Matthew’s and St Edmund’s are there for that purpose. Even if the deceased was not a particularly regular churchgoer, they will still be welcome – and the church is a peaceful, special venue for a funeral (without the time pressures of the Crematorium).
After the service, we move on to a crematorium or, if we're in St Matthew's, to the graveyard for the committal. Usually it is at Markeaton Crematorium about ten minutes drive away. (On occasions the committal comes first, and then we come to church for a Memorial Service – usually on the same day, but sometimes later on).
Alternatively the whole service can take place at the crematorium, and the Vicar (or another cleric) will be willing to take it there.
St Edmund’s churchyard is closed to burials, and the deceased must have a connection with Darley Abbey before we can allow burial at St Matthew's churchyard. People who live in Darley Abbey Village may register an interest in being buried in the churchyard at a future date although particular plots cannot be reserved. We do have areas for the burial of cremated remains in both churchyards. These leaflets give more details:
It is normal that, after a death, the family will first contact a Funeral Director. The Funeral Director will then make the necessary arrangements with the minister (through the Church Office), the Church, the Crematorium or Graveyard. However, do not hesitate to contact us directly if we can be of any assistance or you have any questions. If you are coping with the serious illness or imminent death of someone you love, we are happy to listen, pray and visit (if you would like us to). If you need to talk – perhaps weeks, months or years after a bereavement – please contact us.
The Fellowship Room at St Matthew’s can be hired as a venue for the wake (the Church Hall at St Edmund’s is busy with Pre-School during the week), or people often use a nearby pub or restaurant. Again, the Funeral Directors can advise.
For more information about funerals, click here for the Church of England’s website.
If you have a query about the churchyard or gravestones within it, please speak to us. Memorials must not be placed in the churchyard without written permission, and there are rules that must be followed – more information at
(Nowadays you would never get permission for this angel in St Matthew’s churchyard!)