A.J. Sellman Family Funeral Directors

Independent Local Family Funeral Directors You Can Trust...

Serving the areas of Cannock and Penkridge for over 140 years.

Arranging a Funeral is a very daunting task especially given the emotional stress people are under when a loved one dies. We're here to help you from the moment you need us through every step of the way. Please click on 'What to do when someone dies' to find out what you need to do first.

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The Funeral Service

Arranging the funeral of someone close to you is a hard thing to do, our family will do all we can to take care of all the funeral arrangements and be there for you. The funeral service is a way of saying goodbye to someone who has died. We will let you know all the options available to you and make sure the funeral will be in accordance with your wishes and those of your lost loved one or friend.

Where do I make the funeral arrangements?

You can make the funeral arrangements at our premises or we can come and see you at your home, a friend’s home or a solicitor’s office. Please call our funeral home and we will see you at a time that suits you.

Making arrangements for the funeral service

Below are some answers to questions designed to help you;

Do I want a cremation or burial funeral?

The first choice people usually make is about the type of funeral service that they would like. Whether you choose a burial or a cremation, we will be there to make all the arrangements on your behalf.

Some things to consider about a cremation:

It can cost less than a burial.

The funeral service can be held at the crematorium. Most will have a service room or other appropriate facilities.

The service may also take place in a church or another location before going to the crematorium.

There will be a strict time limit for the length of the service. This will vary depending on the crematorium.

You will need to decide the final resting place of the ashes. You can keep the ashes in an urn, scatter or bury them.


Some things to consider about a burial:

You may already have a family grave or plot. We can arrange for this to be reopened and the headstone removed before burial.

In some areas, burial space may be limited or may be very expensive.

Woodland burials are now available in many areas in the country.

You can hold the funeral service in a local church or in a cemetery chapel. We have a room you can use at our premises for a service if you prefer.

After the burial you will need to consider if you want a memorial headstone, or a new inscription on an existing headstone.


We can also give you advice on choosing a memorial and any local regulations you should know about.

Do I want a religious or non-religious funeral service?

There are three types of service available to you;

A religious funeral service is either at a church, crematorium or somewhere requested by you. It is taken by an ordained person of a religion. Services must have a divine theme.

A humanist service is a service that does not have a divine theme.

A tailor made service is a service taken by Ralph Poole who will tailor his service to your wishes including as much or as little religion that you wish. Ralph is not an ordained member of any religion but can include prayers and religious readings in his services.


We have experience in arranging funerals across all religions and cultures. When you have made your choice we will liaise with the necessary parties to agree a day, date and time for the funeral service to meet your requirements.

Important Funeral Information

In order to make the funeral arrangements the funeral director will need:

The full name of the person who has died.

Their full address.

Their date of birth.

Details of where and when they died

Confirmation of whether the person who has died had a pacemaker fitted. Pacemakers must be removed before the cremation.

The location where the deceased is resting.

The name and contact details of the deceased’s doctor,

The green form you collected from the registrars (not applicable in Coroners cases).

To know whether the funeral will be a religious or non-religious (humanist) ceremony.

To know the full details of your wishes regarding the services of a minister will be needed, if one is needed


Our family and staff at our funeral homes can also help to explain all you need to know about the funeral arrangements, including:

The choice of coffin or casket.

Dressing the deceased.

Transport for the day of the funeral.

Writing and placing an obituary.

The choice of music or poetry for the service.

Organising flowers or donations.

Preparing a eulogy

Service stationery



We will also assist you in the completion of all documentation and make all necessary arrangements with officiating clergy, or those leading the service, together with the cemetery or crematorium, as required. We will then provide confirmation of all the funeral arrangements, together with a detailed estimate of the costs.

Funeral Flowers and Donations

Many people choose flowers that were a favourite of the person who has died, which can be another way of making the funeral more personal. There are many types of floral arrangements.

Some people prefer to have flowers from the family only and choose an organisation for people to donate to instead of buying flowers. It is worth remembering that sending flowers can be a healing gesture for people who have lost someone close. It might be worth giving people the choice of sending flowers or donating money to a charity, or both.

We will collect the cards from the wreaths and bouquets and give them to you later if you want. If you’d like a longer-lasting reminder of the flowers, we can take a single fresh flower from each arrangement and press it as a memento. We can also collect donations for you, and record who sent them.

Miranda Poole, a member of the family at A.J.Sellman, is our florist of many years.

Music to be played at the Funeral Service

Music, including hymns, tapes, CDs and live music, often plays an important part in a funeral service. Some churches have strict rules on the type of music allowed. If there is an organ, make sure the organist can play the hymns or songs you want.

Special funeral requests

You may want to think about other ways of making the funeral reflect the life of the person who has died. We will do our best to arrange anything we can for you. Some of the things people choose include horse-drawn hearses and releasing doves at the crematorium or at the grave and designing their own coffin.

What happens at the funeral?

There is no set procedure for a funeral but traditionally the funeral procession starts at the house of the person who has died, or sometimes the funeral or nursing home, with the cortage travelling to the place where the funeral service will take place. The hearse sometimes goes straight to the service and mourners meet there.

Where the funeral service is to be held, close family members usually follow and sit at the front.

For a cremation please remember that there will be a time limit for the service. You can book more time at the crematorium if you like, although this may cost extra. We will advise on times and costs.

After the funeral, friends and family usually get together for some refreshments, which often takes place at the deceased’s house, the house of a close family member or at a local pub or hotel.