Vicky Meets… Tomos James, Chapel Attendant, Chichester Crematorium

Vicky Meets… Tomos James, Chapel Attendant, Chichester Crematorium
​Tomos James, Chapel Attendant, Chichester Crematorium​Tomos James, Chapel Attendant, Chichester Crematorium
​Tomos James, Chapel Attendant, Chichester Crematorium

There are two special services for those who have loved and lost being held at Chichester Crematorium this year. Will you tell us more?

We know how hard Christmas can be for those who have lost a loved one, whether that loss be recent or not. We are holding two services in our chapel for those who would like to attend a seasonal service with others in the same position. While it may be bittersweet, we hope everyone feels welcome and not under as much pressure as they might at a traditional Christmas service. Our services will be inclusive and will offer a safe space for people to remember, to give thanks, and to enjoy some thoughtfully chosen music and readings.

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Christmas is such a special time of year, but it can be really difficult if someone you love is gone. We hope our services offer comfort.

Following on from the success of last year’s memorial service, this year we thought holding two services for our families would help us support more people and celebrate their loved ones. We’re holding an afternoon and an evening service, hoping to accommodate families with children at the afternoon service. We have also arranged to livestream our services for those who are unable to attend in person.

What can people expect?

Our services are particularly special this year. We’ve arranged guest singers and speakers, and found some particularly beautiful readings. We will have refreshments available half an hour before the service, and we’re hoping to create a visual tribute full of photographs of loved ones to bring them fully into the chapel with us, making our time together even more special.

How do people book?

The services are free of charge, but in order to manage seating arrangements we are asking people to telephone or email and to book the required number of seats. This can be done by calling 01243 781816, or by email: [email protected]. There will also be a retiring collection in aid of The Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a wonderful local charity that supports terminally ill children by funding the equipment and nursing required to allow them to be cared for at home with their families rather than in hospital.

How long have you worked in the funeral industry?

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I’ve spent small change off a decade working in End of Life. I started in a funeral home, arranging funerals and supporting families through their loss. I then spent a little time training front line workers studying for their diplomas in funeral services. And about two years ago, I started at Chichester Crematorium as their chapel attendant. My role supports families by making sure their wishes and final farewells are perfect for their loved ones.

I love my job and being in a position that supports and guides people through such challenging times.

How can people find out more?

For further information please contact the office on 01243 781816 or email [email protected].