Harvest Festival

As part of this year’s harvest festival, St George’s Church, Owlsmoor, Sandhurst is collecting food for our local foodbank.  This is part of a national network of foodbanks giving out emergency food to people in crisis who have nowhere else to turn.  Apparently, around 15,000 people in the surrounding area are living on the edge of poverty and have no financial safety net.  So it was our great pleasure to be able to donate various foodstuffs purchased from our local Co-Op to St George’s in their ongoing battle with poverty.  Reverend Roy was overjoyed at receiving our generous offering.

Connie & Gabi
Camberley & District Funeral Directors

Easthampstead Park Crematorium

On Sunday 2nd September, Easthampstead Park Crematorium held their annual Open Air Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance and the staff from all the local funeral homes were invited. In total, 5 members of staff from Camberley & District FD, J.B. Halls FD, Lines Bannister FD and Bracknell Co-Operative Funeralcare Easthampstead were able to attend. Once again, the rain held off as it has done for the past 22 years (some may call it Divine Intervention). They were given VIP seats in the front row where they were able to enjoy the multi-denominational service in the beautiful and very peaceful surroundings of their grounds. Four local Ministers were invited to take part with the Lady Mayoress of Bracknell Forest Council reading a poem and then, with the help of two local scouts, set free 12 white doves (presumably one for each month).

The local Salvation Army Band and Choir were also invited to take part and their assistance in the playing and singing of the hymns proved invaluable. The Funeralcare staff were also treated to a performance of a local sextet – Occasions – singing a couple of poignant songs and then the traditional Celtic blessing at the close of the service.

Afterwards, everyone was invited to partake of the refreshments which were kindly donated by Camberley & District FD, J.B. Halls FD, Lines Bannister FD and Co-Operative Funeralcare Easthampstead. The retiring collection was for the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust which is the chosen charity of the Lady Mayoress and the grand total of £828.75 was raised on the day.

Camberley & District FD Donation to Local Church

This year sees the 50th anniversary of St Martin’s Church in Camberley and Connie and Gabi were pleased to present the vicar, Reverend Bob Peck, with 2 bottles of champagne for their birthday celebrations. The champagne will be raffled off at their Family Fun Day. Rev. Peck popped into the office to receive the gifts and was more than delighted at our generous contribution.


Although a relatively new church, it is well-established within the local community, providing valuable support to all its parishioners. As well as being the Minister for St Martins, Rev. Peck is also fulfilling the role of Rural Dean for this area and will continue to liaise with Camberley & District on various projects in the future.  One of his intentions is to collate details on all the local churches, eg names of Ministers, contact numbers, addresses and useful information, into one booklet to be sent out to local Funeral Directors in the area which, of course, will be a valuable asset to us all.


Although not able to attend ourselves, we were delighted to sponsor two donkeys in the annual Sandhurst Donkey Derby festivities, which took place on the 4th of June. Donkey No. 1 – aptly named “Coffin Top” and sponsored by “Kind & Caring” out of Camberley & District F.D., did us proud by coming in first.  We also entered a second donkey on behalf of our local parish church of St George’s. This donkey was named “Divine Intervention” and to our great surprise also romped home in first place!

We will continue to support our local derby each year and hope to improve our form with our sights set on the Donkey Grand National (wherever that may be).

Connie and Gabi
Camberley & District Funeral Directors

Royal Jubilee Donations

On Wednesday 30th May, Connie and I were invited along to Warner Court, our local sheltered housing complex, to meet the Committee and some of the residents. After arranging a funeral for one of the former resident’s earlier this year, we have developed a close relationship with them, which involves supporting their many activities organised by their Committee.

On Wednesday, we were given a guided tour both inside and in the gardens and even invited into one of the flats for a cup of tea. At the end it was our great pleasure to donate wine and chocolates towards their Jubilee Raffle prizes. These were gratefully received with an open invitation to return at any time, which we hope to do in the not too distant future.

Gabrielle Castell
Camberley & District Funeral Directors

Volunteering at St George’s Church

Wednesday, 25th April, saw St George’s Church, Owlsmoor open its doors from 08.30 until 10.00 am for the start of their breakfast club for local mums and tots. The idea is that mums and their little ones can pop in for a cup of tea or coffee and a slice or two of toast either before the start of school or just after dropping off their children. They will be greeted by Pat (the Verger), Edwina (Rev Roy’s wife) or Connie or me and given a welcoming hot steaming beverage and a chance to sit and chat with everyone or to just gather their wits for the day ahead.

Numbers were low on Wednesday either because the weather was atrocious or because it will take time to gain momentum. Either way, Reverend Roy was delighted and very grateful for Camberley & District’s offer to help. I arrived at 08.30am armed with a tin of biscuits as a small contribution and was warmly greeted by everyone. Roy proudly showed off their new counselling room with all its improvements and thanked me again for our generous support both financially and materially. He is delighted that we have offered to assist at the Breakfast Club. They certainly make us feel that we are a welcome and a very much appreciated part of the St George’s extended family. Connie and I look forward to contributing more as the weeks go by.

Camberley & District Funeral Directors

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

On Wednesday, 21st March Gabrielle Castell and Constance Sweeney, representing Camberley & District FD, were invited to a meeting at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Local dignitaries, council members, representatives from businesses, schools and hospitals were among the 160 invited guests.

The evening began at 6.30pm with welcoming drinks and a chance to mingle and chat with other guests. We were then ushered into the Indian Medal Room where we saw a short film and were given a presentation on the Army Covenant in Sandhurst and the local area.  The Army Covenant is a new policy whereby the Army is keen to interact with local agencies to facilitate easier transition of retiring personnel into local communities as well as garnering the necessary support network for military families and their children within the local area.

There followed a lively debate with a question and answer session. Afterwards we were treated to more drinks and nibbles and a chance to speak one to one with serving personnel.

All in all a very enjoyable and informative evening.

Camberley & District Easter Egg Donations

Camberley & District funeral Directors were delighted to be able to donate gift wrapped Easter eggs to both our local church – St George’s of Owlsmoor – and Warner Court, a local sheltered accommodation complex.  The gifts were warmly received by both organisations and put towards their Easter raffles.

This is the first time we have donated to Warner Court and our gifts were given “pride of place” and one in particular was offered as 1st Prize in the raffle.  We will continue to forge this new relationship and look forward to many more occasions in the future.

Camberley & District Funeral Directors attend Bereavement service held at St Michael’s Church

Constance Sweeney and Gabrielle Castell represented Camberley & District Funeral Directors at the annual Bereavement Service held at St. Michael’s Church in Camberley on Sunday 11th December 2011.

The received a warm welcome from Reverend Bruce Nicole at this very well attended service incorporating ten of the local churches from all denominations. The service itself was beautifully given with many of the Ministers taking part with readings and prayers, as well as a host of Christmas carols sung by all.

After the service everyone went along to the church hall for refreshments. The donation of tins of biscuits provided by Camberley & District Funeral Directors were gratefully received. Constance commented “It was heart warming to see so many of our families whom we had looked after during this past year. We shared a cup of tea and some memories of their loved ones with them.”

This is the third year for this particular service and every year the congregation grows in numbers and it is one which Camberley & District Funeral Directors look forward to attending next year.

Camberely & District Funeral Directors holds Blessing and supports local Church

Camberley & District Funeral Directors held a Christmas Tree Blessing in their Funeral Home. Clients from the past year were invited to attend and place personal message cards on the tree in memory of their loved ones.

The blessing was held on Wednesday 7th December 2011 at their premises at 337 Yorktown Road, College Town, Sandhurst, and was led by Reverend Roy Burgess of St. Georges Church in Owlsmoor.

In addition to the blessing, the team at Camberley & District also presented Reverend Burgess with a cheque for £500 to refurbish a community room at St Georges Church, along with an appropriate picture for the wall. The room is aimed to be used frequently for bereavement support groups and one-to-one counseling, so that the bereaved, and others, can receive the support they require at their time of need.

Reverend Burgess commented “I was delighted to be invited back for the second year running to bless the Christmas tree at Camberley & District Funeral Directors. For many people, this Christmas will be a difficult time of year, as for the first time, they remember those they love but will see no more. The Christmas tree at this funeral home, on which those loved ones have died can hang memory stars, can be very important as it is an object on which the bereaved can focus their thoughts and prayers, for on it are memories of loved ones who will be seen no more, but are held in our hearts with love. May the tree at Camberley & District be a symbol to celebrate, and say thank you for lives well lived and well loved.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the team at Camberley & District for their on-going support of St Georges Church, their care and compassion, and their kind donations, which will enable the refurbishment of the community room within the Church early next year. The picture is very beautiful and will enhance a sense of calm in the room”.

Funeral Co-ordinator’s Constance Sweeney & Gabrielle Castell added “At this time of year, it is important to remember the loved ones our families have lost, and we were delighted to be able to organise this special service for our many families. It was heart-warming to see the appreciation and comfort they took away from the blessing. For us it is always a very special evening, one that we take great pride in hosting every year.”

The Christmas trees will now remain within the reception area of the funeral home in Camberely until after the festive season.