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Funerals, Burials and Interments

Being there in your time of need

One of the most emotional and vulnerable times in anyone’s life happens upon the death of someone you love.  The church will always be there to help you through one of life’s most difficult times—this is at the heart of our ministry to all those who live here.  A Church of England funeral is available to everyone, giving support before, during and after the service.

As the parish church for Enfield Highway and Brimsdown, St James’s is a place for all of life’s momentous events, including celebrating the life of one who has gone ahead and onward to new life in God’s nearer presence.  St James’s is there those who are grieving, and we will do all that we can to ensure that the funeral is a reverent and fitting send-off to that larger life with God.

When a death occurs, it is best to contact a Funeral Director in the first instance, who will then help you through the many decisions you will have to make. One of the decisions is whether to have a church service or not. You do not have to have been a regular attender at church to have a church funeral.  You have that right be law.

St James’s clergy are there to serve all who live in the parish, whether they attended worship or not. This your ancient right in being a resident of the parish (in Brimsdown and Enfield Highway). The benefits of a service at St James’s are these:

  • allows more time for the ceremony

  • affords more space for music and hymns

  • enables larger numbers to attend comfortably

  • facility to project photos of your loved one during the service through our audiovisual system

  • offers the chance for friends and family to pay tribute their loved one and to celebrate their life

Should you choose to have a church service, the local parish clergy will visit you, explain and go through the service, and you will have an opportunity to adapt the service to suit your requirements and choose music which is of meaning to the loved one whose life is to be celebrated. 

An increasing number of families are opting to have their funerals at crematorium chapels, and the clergy at St James’s are of course available to conduct a funeral that is personal, poignant, and solemn. If you would like to have St James’s clergy be involved in the funeral, please mention this to the funeral director.

As the time for a funeral in a crematorium chapel is very limited, you always have the ancient right by law to have the funeral service at St James’s Church, which allows more time—and indeed more options—for the funeral, particularly for tributes and music.

If you would like to hear from the clergy, you can use our contact page, or

contact the Vicar, the Revd Ian Gallagher


Mobile:  07944 25 25 23


Book of Remembrance

In church we have a Memorial Book, in which names are inscribed by a professional calligrapher. Each of those inscribed in our Book of Remembrance are remembered before God in our prayers at St James’s on a particular date every year in perpetuity (called the Yearly Mind).  If you would like to know more about having the name of a loved one inscribed in our Book of Remembrance, please see our contact page.

Once a year St James’s holds a Memorial (Bereavement) Service, so that families who have experienced bereavement may remember their loved ones once more before God.  This year's Bereavement Service is scheduled for Sunday 31 October 2021.


St James’s Churchyard

The churchyard—consecrated burial ground belonging to the parish—is a parcel of land surrounding the church building (legally called the curtilage of the church). The churchyard is original to the church, with graves going back 150 years.  Two decades ago St James’s Churchyard was closed by Order of Council, allowing only limited burial of ashes on existing family plots, if the graves are able to accommodate them.

Hertford Road Cemetery

To the sides and rear of the Churchyard, and extending to the back towards Durants Park, is the Hertford Road Cemetery, a municipal cemetery run by the cemeteries department of the London Borough of Enfield and has never been owned by the church or parish.

There are small plots available for the interring of cremated remains in a Garden of Remembrance on the south side of the cemetery.  St James’s clergy are happy to conduct a service of Committal of your loved one’s ashes, if you wish.

 NEW!   From June 2020 there are two sections of the Hertford Road Cemetery on consecrated ground (Sections RH and RI) that have been approved and re-opened for burials.  These two sections can accommodate 228 burials at double depth. 

You can click here for a map of the Hertford Road Cemetery and where the two newly opened sections are located (as a PDF). 

If you are interested in knowing more, please contact:

Enfield Council Bereavement Service:


Tel:  020 8379 3767

My family has a plot outside the church—is it in the churchyard or in the cemetery?

It’s not always clear whether your loved ones are buried in the churchyard or in the Hertford Road Cemetery. 

  • Check to see whether you have any written documentation about the plot.  It should state clearly that the plot is either St James’s Churchyard or the Hertford Road Cemetery.

  • If there is any doubt, there is a high probability that the plot is in the Hertford Road Cemetery. To confirm this, you should contact the Enfield Cemeteries Department (note that a search fee will apply). 

  • If you are certain that the burial was in St James’s Churchyard, however, please contact Stephen Tomaszewski, our parish administrator, via email at so that a search in our records could be conducted. (Note that this will incur a statutory fee of £34 for 2023.)

There is a PDF of a schematic chart of St James’s churchyard, so if you know the approximate location of the grave you are searching for, this might be of help:


Want to know more?

For more information about funerals in the Church of England, please click here, or on the orange ‘FUNERALS’ graphic at the top of the page.

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