Recently bereaved given Christmas support...

Families of the recently deceased were given comfort last week when a local funeral director held two Christmas Remembrance Services across Essex, at the same time.

The events were held by Co-op Funeral Directors, owned by local co-operative, Chelmsford Star, at both the Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford City Centre and their private Chapel at the Clare Road, Braintree branch. 

The Christmas Remembrance event has been well attended for a number of years, initially taking place within their funeral home at Baddow Road, but it has become so popular in recent years that it has been re-located a number of times to meet demand, until this year’s decision to hold two at once. 

Funeral Operations Manager Craig Jackson commented;

“The Memorial evening was originally founded for our clients, but over the years we have encouraged all those who would get comfort from it to attend. It’s a lovely way for the community to get together at Christmas timeto remember those we have lost. “

The Chelmsford service was compered by Chris Cornell and featured violinist Joanne Davies, and readings from Minister Leesa McKay. The Braintree service was hosted by Chris Poulton, featured guitarist Jerry Harrison, with Revd Tim Barnes and Celebrant Jim Maltby performing the readings. Both events featured a memorial roll call from our family liaison officers, and some good old-fashioned carol singing. 

The Royal British Legion finished off both evenings with buglers performing the Last Post, after which the attendees had the opportunity to light a candle and leave a message for their loved ones on a specially blessed tree. Once the service had finished, all were treated to mince pies and mulled wine to round off the evening.

If you feel you would benefit from some additional support at this time of year, please visit for information on their free bereavement and counselling courses, or call 0800 0284808.