Arranging the funeral ceremony

Sadly, every single person will, eventually, require the services of a funeral director.

The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group exists to serve everyone, whether they follow a particular religion or none, whatever they believe, we are here to help. Whatever might be required to honour the beliefs of a person and their family, we work with our clients to commemorate life and death in a way that is most suitable for their circumstances.

It is also our sad duty and privilege to care for children, and babies who have died prematurely or are stillborn. Please click here to read more.

We have experience of funerals for almost all the major faiths, as well as non-religious and humanist traditions, so we are confident we can help whoever needs us. However, there are always new things to learn and if we haven’t previously experienced the practices of a particular tradition, we will do all we can to serve and do our best to learn from our clients and the communities to which they belong.

Many different kinds of funeral

Religious funerals

A person’s religious affiliation is only the first question we ask… if they have one at all. We are also keenly aware that in each religion there are varieties of denomination, belief, practice, and more, all of which need to be taken into consideration when organising and conducting a funeral. Often, we will simply need to communicate and work with a specific community or place of worship, allowing them to show us what might be required and facilitating the things they need to meet their needs. For example, we have often made our mortuary facilities available to faith leaders to prepare the deceased for burial, and we have specialist equipment which allows people to be buried without a casket.

At other times, when we lack the local facilities, clergy, or faith leaders, we have had to go further afield to search out the help and support our client has required. As a member of the NAFD we have other funeral directors all over the country to call on for advice and contacts. We are also lucky to work as close to London and Cambridge as we do, where a great many different religions and practices have living communities who are willing to help.

Most of our work, because of the cultural makeup of our nation, has been with Christian traditions, including Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Salvationists, Free Churches, Orthodox, The Society of Friends, House Churches and many more. In the Christian Church there are a great many denominations and groups. We have also worked with Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, among others.

The UK is increasingly the home of people from other faiths too. Within Colchester and Ipswich, there are significant Muslim communities, from both Sunni and Shia backgrounds. We have been truly privileged to work with families, mosques, and faith leaders to ensure that the practices of Islam have been honoured and carried out at many different funerals.

Of course, every faith and religion has its own practices and requirements. We’ve worked with families from Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Pagan communities, all of whom have different traditions and practices, and all of whom we have served with our usual professionalism pride, and compassion. And there are religious traditions we are yet to encounter, but we are very confident that we will support the families who follow them just as well as we always do, and we look forward to doing so.

Please talk to your funeral arranger and they will more than pleased to help you. We recognise that in some cultures, the gender of the funeral arranger will be important, so we are happy to ensure that you can speak to a male or female arranger as you prefer, according to your faith or culture.

Non-religious funerals

Increasingly in the life of the UK, there are those who do not follow or adhere to any specific religion.

For many families there is still comfort to be found from the presence of some element of faith, and we have connections with excellent funeral celebrants who specialise in crafting funeral services to reflect and honour the beliefs of your loved one. For example, you might want the Lord’s Prayer or a hymn to be included in the service, in which case we would be pleased to recommend a suitable celebrant.

Other families and individuals, however, do not want any religious or faith content whatsoever to be included in the funeral. We work closely with Humanist and non-religious funeral celebrants to make sure that, no matter what, the life and beliefs of the family and the deceased are honoured.

Cultural traditions

Within society and religious practice there are many variations of tradition, culture, nationality and belief. Wherever in the world a family might trace their roots, or whichever community they might call home, there are often elements to a funeral which are important to remember and include.

For example, many cultures prefer a white hearse and limousines, or a flat-bed lorry, to our fleet of silver vehicles. There are families and communities who want to back-fill the grave themselves, and others are required to conduct the funeral within 24 hours. We have helped families with home burials, burials at sea, military funerals, and many other kinds of ceremony. Whatever traditions your cultural heritage, race, nationality, or family might require, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group will help, as we have helped so many families and communities since 1983.

Our reputation has been grown over years, through dedication, professionalism and compassion. We want everyone to know that whatever their background, culture, race, religion, creed or worldview… we are your funeral director, here to help you.

The funeral arrangers in every branch office of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group are properly trained to support everyone who needs them, and they will do everything they possibly can to make sure that the funeral service you arrange through us will honour the beliefs and culture of your community, family and loved one.

Provision for all

As contractors to several local authorities and health trusts, we are responsible for carrying out the funerals for those who have died in the community without a family or funds. These funerals are treated with the same level of care and respect as all our other funerals, and the ceremony is led by a celebrant or appropriate minister.

In our tradition, everyone is valued and all are cared for.


All of the celebrants we work with are required to prove their expertise and qualification to undertake this valuable work. Simply talk to your funeral arranger and they will do their utmost to put you in touch with a funeral celebrant who will best answer your needs.

Our ethos is to be all things to all people when it comes to funerals. Our role is to ensure each and every funeral, of whatever faith, culture, ethnicity or belief is carried out with care, compassion and professionalism.

Whatever your choice, we are here to guide you through all the arrangements, including your choice of celebrant or minister and to support you and your family at a time of need.

Choice of coffin

The range and variety of coffins and caskets for both adults and children has never been wider, so you are sure to find something that feels right. Whether you wish for something formal and traditional, natural and rustic, or colourful and contemporary, we will be pleased to explain your options.

Please visit our dedicated page for more information.

Funeral transport

We are well-known throughout Essex and Suffolk for our fleet of silver Mercedes hearses and limousines. However, there are a great number of other options, including the classic black hearse and limousine, horse-drawn carriages, motorcycles, or even a Routemaster bus. And if you are looking for something even more unusual, we can often help with that too.

Please visit our funeral transport page to see the array of possibilities.

Focus on flowers

The timeless beauty of funeral flowers provides a unique opportunity to express sympathy and brings comfort to the bereaved.

Express your sympathy through flowers

A bereavement is a sensitive time when family and friends experience a wide range of emotions. Many people choose to show their sympathy with a floral tribute, and flowers bring colour and natural beauty to the occasion.

All styles and budgets

We can cater for all styles and budgets – from a loosely styled, natural arrangement to a more formal tribute, the emotive language of tributes both traditional and the more unusual, plus church decorating. We can also arrange funeral flowers at short notice for family and friends by telephone, with payment by credit or debit card.

Contact us

Seeds of remembrance

Flowers are an integral part of many funerals, but, of course, they don’t last forever. One way that you can create a lasting floral tribute is by making a gift of some flower seeds to those attending the funeral. They are also easy to post to any who can’t get there on the day.

Over time, as they germinate and grow, these not only serve as a subtle memorial to those who have gone, they also provide gentle reassurance that life does go on. Inspired by the passing of her own father, Lisa Bass, founder of Sow With Love has developed a range of seeds and colour presentations to choose from. Your funeral arranger will be happy to put you in touch, or you can email

Funeral stationery

In producing funeral stationery our aim is to produce an attractive, quality item that family and friends will wish to keep as a reminder of the person who has died.

Printed funeral keepsake

We are pleased to arrange any printing requirements. Our printers have produced a catalogue showing a range of funeral stationery and designs for you to browse through, and they also offer a fully bespoke and personalised service.

You can choose Orders of Service, a Condolence Book, Cards of Remembrance, all personalised and presented as a lasting record to keep and remember, ensuring that precious memories are never forgotten.
Just ask your funeral arranger to advise you on the many options available, and they will order them for you.

Download catalogue


There are many reasons why it may not be possible for those who wish to pay their respects to attend a funeral in person. However, many funeral venues can now provide a webcast of your loved one’s funeral so that those who are not able to be present can still see and hear the ceremony. This can provide some comfort and a sense of participation for those who are able to tune in, no matter where in the world they may be. Services can usually be attended live online. Afterwards, a link to the appropriate webcast can be provided for friends and family to view, for up to 28 days, depending on the provider. Please ask your funeral arranger about this.

Donations and notices

In memorium donations can be made before or after the funeral ceremony using our MuchLoved online donation service, which is safe and secure. If you wish to give details for others to make donations, you may wish to direct them to our MuchLoved page for more details. Our funeral arrangers will also be happy to explain this to you.

We publish a notice of every forthcoming funeral so that you can make the date, time and venue known to friends and relatives who may wish to attend. You can also choose to list it simply as a private funeral. The notice, as well as information on how to make a donation to a chosen cause, will appear on our donations and notices page here.

Funeral costs

Every funeral is different. The final cost will depend on a number of factors, including your choice of coffin, type of transport, number of vehicles, use of flowers and whether you opt for burial or cremation, to name just a few.

Some people decide on the very minimum of arrangements, many choose one of our funeral packages, while others prefer a more elaborate approach with a myriad of special touches. We are well versed in the many options open to you, from very simple to highly complex. Please ask us if you have something special in mind, as we will do our utmost to help you to create the most memorable bespoke ceremony.

We will provide an itemised estimate of the funeral well in advance so that you can make informed decisions. We always do our very best to match the prices that you may find elsewhere, but we never cut corners in looking after your loved one, and we believe that the services we offer are the very best available.

Our most popular funeral packages are available for you to view here.

In addition to the cost of the funeral itself, you may wish to hold a wake or celebration afterwards. This will be up to you to arrange separately as we do not arrange wakes. However, we are happy to give advice and local recommendations.

Help with funeral costs

You may qualify for a Funeral Expenses Payment if you are in receipt of certain benefits and need help to pay for a funeral.