Our condolences and prayers as you grieve.
The loss of a loved one is never easy. Our pastor, deacons, and congregation are here to pray with you, comfort you, and help you plan a service that is fitting.
Please contact Pastor Kevin to set up a time to meet in person, over the phone, or online. Call or text him on his cell phone to speak with him urgently.
In the meantime, we encourage you to review the frequently asked questions, helpful considerations, policies and fees below.
Frequently Asked Questions
A funeral, memorial service, and celebration of life are similar. A funeral includes the interment of your loved one’s mortal remains as part of or immediately following the service.
Contact Pastor Kevin. He will set up a time to meet with you in person, by phone or online.
He will listen to your needs and help plan the service appropriate to you, your loved one, and your family’s needs.
Yes. We can help you plan a funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life in our sanctuary, graveside at a cemetery, a funeral home, or elsewhere.
We have wifi available and have successfully used Zoom and Google Meets to stream weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other events to include guests who were unable to physically be present. Pastor Kevin can work with you in this regard as well.
Yes, you may. There are several options available depending on your needs; including the following:
- a simple reception, i.e., light snacks provided by family, friends, and/or members of the congregation;
- snacks and Hord ‘overs provided by family and friends or catered;
- a sit down meal catered or cooked onsite
Use fees may apply, see below.
Please see reception fees and consideration below.
The Woodstock Cemetery Association oversees the Woodstock Hill Cemetery.
For questions regarding plots, burials, or the cemetery related fees please contact Steve Brainerd, Hill Cemetery Sexton at 860-428-3682.
Policies and Fees
Funeral services are a priority activity for our congregation. Contact Pastor Kevin as soon as possible and he will work with you to schedule the service. Even if the date and time is uncertain, we strongly encourage you to contact the pastor and “pencil in the tentative date(s).”
Professional Service Fees (members and nonmembers):
- Pastor $300 ($200 for a graveside service)
- Organist $250 (See related note)
- Cleaning Service $75 (See related note)
Facility Use Fees (nonmembers) :
- $300 Sanctuary
- $300 Reception with Light Kitchen Use, i.e. light prep work with use of the refrigerator(s) only.
- $400 Reception with Full Kitchen Use, i.e., use of oven, range, refrigerator(s), dishes, and/or dishwasher
Facility Use Fees:
Member fees and discounts apply to services in which the deceased or an immediate family member of the deceased is an active congregant of FCCW. As such, for a member’s service there is no charge for use of the facilities, including the Sanctuary, Harrison Hall, the Downstairs Hall, or the Kitchen .
A deposit totaling 50% of Facility Use Fees is required to secure the date for your wedding loved one’s service. The remaining balance for the facility usage, as well as applicable professional service fees are due before or on the day of the service.
Separate checks made payable to
- Pastor, Rev. Dr. Kevin Downer
- Organist, Leilani Nixon
- Special musicians
- And all other fees to “FCCW” or The First Congregational Church of Woodstock
Facility use deposits for funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life are 100% refundable.
If FCCW incurs additional costs for cleaning or repair (beyond normal wear and tear) as a result of the event, the couple may be billed additional charges.
Our church organist, Leilani Nixon, has ‘first right of refusal’ to play at all services that take place at the Church, based on her availability. If another organist or accompanist is chosen, a fee may be charged.
Fees do not include the cost of special musical arrangements, tracks, MP3s, etc. The family is responsible for providing special musical arrangements or compensating the church or organist for the cost to procure the special materials for the service.
Cleaning service fees apply to funerals with more than 50 guests and to all nonmember receptions held at the church.
It is expected that the Church will be left in good condition, however, if the Church incurs additional costs for cleaning and/or repair (beyond normal wear and tear) as a result of the service, the family will be responsible for the additional costs.
- Furniture will not be moved in any of the rental facilities except as arranged through the Pastor. The family is responsible for returning the furniture to its pre-service/pre-reception state.
- For non member services, all food, beverages, and other refreshments are the responsibility of the family.
- Arrangements for flowers, videographers and/or photographers are the express responsibility of the family.
- Delivery times for flowers must be agreed to and pre-arranged with the Pastor.
- If you wish to leave flowers in the Church for Sunday service, please make arrangements with the Pastor.
- Smoking, alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in the building and on the grounds of the Church.
- and all local and state laws are followed.family
Members of the First Congregational Church of Woodstock are eligible to pay their funeral expenses in advance, subject to the FCCW Professional Service Rates (above) at the time of payment/purchase. Additional charges may be incurred if special music is requested at the time of the funeral.
The Treasurer shall deposit receipts for pre-paid funeral/memorial services expenses in a non-lapsing off-budget account. The Church secretary is responsible for maintaining records of pre-paid funerals/memorial services and shall share a record of such pre-paid funds with the Minister, Treasurer and the Board of Trustees.
The family member or agent responsible for requesting the funeral/memorial service shall submit a ‘Building and Use Application’ form and Funeral/Memorial Service Information sheet to the Church office and Pastor in advance of the actual service.
If the Professional Services Rates substantially change by 20% or more when the service is actually scheduled to take place, the increased cost may be required to be paid to the Church at the discretion of the Pastor.
Should the family decide not to exercise use of the pre-paid expenses, a refund may be requested from the Church or the value may take the form of a donation to the Church in the name of the deceased family member.
In keeping with CDC guidelines, masks will be required during times of high community transmission and recommended in times of moderate transmissions.
Current transmission rates for Windham County and recommended protocols can be found on CovidActNow.org.