St Charles & St Thomas More

Bereavement Care Team

CONFIDENTIALITY: We will observe confidentiality unless someone appears to be in danger.

Parish of St Charles and St Thomas More Bereavement Care Team

We aim to support families within the parish who have experienced bereavement. We are aware that bereavement is a very personal and family time and we are not here to intrude on anyone’s privacy. But there are times when help is needed after a death; before or after the funeral; even months or years after the death of a loved one.

The Bereavement Care Team is here to help all our parishioners and others who may need support and comfort.


  • Offer your condolences
  • Be there for the person who is grieving; pick up the phone, write a letter or email, call by or arrange to visit.
  • Recognise that everyone grieves in their own way; there is no ‘normal’ way.
  • Encourage the person to talk.
  • Listen to them.
  • Be aware that grief can take a long time.
  • Contact the person on special dates such as anniversaries and birthdays.
  • Offer practical help.


  • Don’t avoid someone who has been bereaved or ignore the situation.
  • Don’t use clichés: ‘I know just how you feel’, or ‘You’ll get over it’.
  • Don’t tell them it’s time to move on, or that they should be over it by now.
  • Don’t assume you know how the person is feeling - every bereavement is unique.
  • Don’t say anything that may minimise or undermine the loss, such as ‘we all have to go sometime’ or ‘she had a good innings’.
  • Don’t say anything to make light of bereavement, such as ‘time will heal’; ‘pull yourself together’; ‘it must be a great relief for you’.” Create an environment in which the bereaved person can be themselves and show their feelings, rather than have to put on a front.

We aim to help families by providing:

  • An information pack to help with planning the Funeral Mass or Service;
  • Rosary with the family before the funeral (by liaison with the Parish SVP Group);
  • A welcoming presence at the funeral;
  • Visiting for those who need ongoing support and feel the need to talk about their loved ones who have died;
  • A Special Mass is celebrated in November for all parishioners who have died;
  • A Book of Remembrance is kept at the back of church and pages turned each day;
  • A framed Memorial List is displayed at the back of church and shows the names of parishioners who have died in the current month.

Information on how to have a name included is given at the bottom of the List.

Please contact us if:

you or any member of your family are struggling to cope with a bereavement and have need of support;

you would like to learn more about the work of the team with a view to joining;

you wish to have the name of a deceased member of your family entered into the Book of Remembrance.

St Charles & St Thomas More Church 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool L17 9PG.
Parish Office: 0151 727 2493
Email: church@stcharles.org.uk

Web: www.stcharlesandstthomasmore.org.uk

Parish of St Charles and St Thomas More

Some useful resources:

LISTENING EAR. An ecumenical organisation based at the St Nicholas Centre, Halewood providing a free and confidential listening and counselling service for over 18’s. They also help 6 – 17yr olds - but there is a waiting list.
Tel: 0151 488 6648. Email: enquires@listening.ear.co.uk

CRUSE. To enable anyone bereaved to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Daytime helpline: 0808 808 1677. www.cruse.org.uk. Email: helpline@cruse.org.uk

GRIEF NET. An Internet community of persons dealing with grief, death, and major loss. www.griefnet.org

Tel: 0151 236 3932
Email: liverpoolbereavement@tiscali.co.uk
ALDER CENTRE. For those affected by the death of a child.

Child Death Helpline: 0800 282 986 Local: 0151 252 5391

CHILD BEREAVEMENT UK. Support for bereaved children or those caring or concerned for a bereaved child. Runcorn Centre: Tel: 01928 577164. www.childbereavementuk.org

SANDS. For those who experience stillbirth. Tel: 020 7436 5881 Local: 07594 580092. Email: helpline@uk-sands.org

Helpline: 0844 561 6855. www.uk-sobs.org.uk

Helpline: 0845 872 3440 www.samm.org.uk Email: samm.national@gmail.com

Local: 0151 207 6767(24 hours) www.samm- merseyside.org.uk

PAPYRUS. Prevention of Young Suicide. Helpline: 0800 068 4141. www.papyrus-uk.org Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org. SMS 07786 209697


Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.
“We all come into contact with bereaved people during the course of our working lives - be it clients, customers or colleagues - and even the most confident person can find it hard to know what to say. People who have been bereaved may want to talk about the person who has died. One of the most helpful things you can do is simply listen, and give them the time and setting to express their grief as they choose. Offering specific practical help - not vague general offers - can also be very helpful. See overleaf some other suggestions which may help you and them.

Requirements  of a Bereavement Team Member:

Responsible to: Parish Priest, Parish Safeguarding Rep, Bereavement Team LeaderRole Purpose: To support families within the parish of St Charles and St Thomas More who have experienced bereavement.

Main Responsibilities:
1. To assist the parish priest by visiting bereaved families before a funeral. To ensure that all those involved can be part of the preparation process and know how the funeral will proceed. To be able to answer any questions they may have.

2. During any visit a card of condolence from the parish may be presented to the bereaved.

3. A leaflet about the work of the team will be provided including contact details and the
offer of the Rosary being said for the deceased person prior to the funeral.

4. A minimum of two members per visit.

5. To attend the funeral mass/service. To be available for family members to clarify any
issues they may have.

6. If appropriate and required to visit the family after the funeral at an agreed time.

7. To signpost the family to counselling services.

8. To meet regularly as a team, to review the work undertaken.

9. To assist in planning for memorial services.

10. To pass on any concerns to the parish priest or deacon.

The parish priest or deacon has overall responsibility for the funeral mass/service. The team members are to assist the process through provision of basic advice and information.

Person Specification:
a) A commitment to the essential teachings of the Catholic Church & the ethos of the parish.

b) The ability to relate to and respect people of all ages & objectively help those who find themselves in a distressed & possibly a vulnerable position as a result of bereavement.

c) An ability to listen sympathetically understand the feelings of the bereaved family, gained from an experience of bereavement and/or training. To maintain confidentially at all times.

d) A willingness to attend bereavement and safeguarding training to maintain current procedures & changes.

e) To be able to work as part of a team & accommodate any changes that may arise.