1. Register the death – If death occurs at home, first contact should be a doctor, who will sign the Death Certificate. Or you can call the fire brigade (sapeurs pompiers) by dialing the number ’18’ from any phone, – A ‘declaration de décès’ (death certificate) will need to be made at the Mairie (town hall) in the commune where death occurred, within 24 hours. If the person died in hospital, the hospital will notify the Mairie. The Mairie can issue a multi-lingual copy of the Death Certificate if appropriate (Formule Plurilingue de l’Acte de Décès). This could be helpful if the estate is to be settled in a country other than France. You will be asked to supply the personal details of the deceased person, such as passport copy, social security card and health insurance details Once the death has been registered by the Mairie, the burial permit (permit d’inhumer) will be issued. It is advisable to obtain several original copies of all certificates as these will be needed by the undertaker, French Social Security, health insurers, pension providers and those dealing with the estate.
2. Contact an undertaker An undertaker (Pompes Funèbres) will take care of the body and make arrangements for the actual burial or cremation. Under the ‘six day rule’, French Law requires that a funeral take place within a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of six days. Sundays and bank holidays are not counted. It is important that the coffin is sealed (by legal authorities) and identity verified before the funeral. Burial – A full list of local undertakers will be available from your town hall, hospital or clinic. Undertakers are obliged to give you a breakdown of costs in writing and include obligations and optional extras. Obligatory services include supply of the coffin, its handles and seal, preparation and closing of the grave or tomb for burial, or the cremation itself and the urn. The costs of plots in your chosen cemetery is fixed and will appear on the undertaker’s quote. You are entitled to be buried in the commune in which you live, but if you wish a burial to take place elsewhere, you will need to ask permission, which may not always be given. Cremation – In Brittany there are crematoria at Brest, Carhaix, Quimper, Saint Thégonnec near Morlaix, Bégard, Saint-Malo, Saint-Brieuc, Noyal Pontivy, Lorient, Vannes and Rennes. The ashes will be given to the family in an urn. If they are to be repatriated, the Crematorium must be advised, as the urn must be sealed appropriately. Most cemeteries have areas set aside for the burial of ashes. They may not be scattered on in public areas, roads or rivers. Cremation must take place at least 24 hours but not more than six days after death. The coffin must be closed in the presence of a police officer, which involves a small fee. The urn containing the ashes may be kept at the crematorium for up to two months for free, allowing you to decide about any final ceremony. Repatriation of a Body Should you wish to return a body to the country of origin, this can be arranged (by an International Pompes Funèbres) but is likely to be very expensive. This is why it’s important to know whether these costs are covered under any insurance policy before making any decisions regarding this.
3. Contact Christ Church Brittany Please telephone our Church Warden (Janet Lageveen 02 98 99 63 14) who will find a member of clergy or other appropriate person to take the service. The person who will take the funeral service will help you to plan it. (The fee is 200€ + travel expenses.) Music, hymns, readings, tributes, eulogy can be included according to the wishes of the family. Bank Access, Inheritance Issues, and the Will. A lawyer, notaire, should be contacted as soon as possible to help ensure access to bank accounts. Penalties are levied if the process of settling an estate takes too long. To find an English-speaking notaire go to www.notaires.fr and click on the Union Jack flag for English. After the Funeral • Within a week of the funeral taking place, certain entities should be informed of the person’s death. These include Social Security, private pension funds, plus their employer, bank, notary and landlord if renting. • Within a month, other insurance companies, banks and utility companies should be notified. • Within six months, remaining jointly held responsibilities should be transferred into the surviving spouse’s name, eg vehicle registration documents (carte grise). By this point also the déclaration de succession should have been sent to the tax office and any tax due paid.
Funerals. Please contact the Chaplain or the local congregation if you have a funeral to arrange. The fee will be € 200, plus milage for the officiant, paid at the time of the funeral.
” Last week, I was desperately trying to find a Chaplin from the UK that could officiate my father’s funeral in English, in Brittany. I was almost at my wits end when I came across Henk at Christ Church Brittany, he resolved my problems in an instant. Henk sent Rev Joy Dale (English) to our rescue, visiting my family home two days later with Janet (English/French Speaking). They were so kind and compassionate that they immediately put the family at ease. They asked questions and got to know my father as a person before the ceremony was conducted and allowed us to have the type of ceremony we wanted. This resulted in a very personal and special service for my father. I would highly recommend Christ Church Brittany. Janet was also able to talk to French funeral officials on our behalf. They are a brilliant team-thank you all so much.” Carla Jackson
Weddings. Christ Church Brittany looks forward to helping you celebrate your wedding, blessing or anniversary – if we possibly can.
Can you please fill out this initial enquiry form so that we can understand your request.
You also need to be aware in advance of our Fees policy.
You will need to pay a booking fee € 200 to Christ Church Brittany.
In addition the clergy conducting the wedding will have a fee of € 200 plus travel expenses, paid in advance to CCB.
If you request use the Church at Ploërmel that will cost an additional € 200.
After we have confirmed the date and location we can help you plan the ceremony. The chaplain and several retired clergy are available in Brittany. We would also love to see you at worship in one of our locations!
You may find this link to the Church of England wedding resources helpful.