Manchester: Dying to Talk course supports families facing bereavement

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A new course offering support to those facing the death of a loved one has been set up in Greater Manchester.

The course Dying to Talk has been facilitated by Revd Anne Gilbert (pictured), the vicar of Rochdale Parish Churches and Funeral Champion for Rochdale Deanery. It is taking place at the Burnside Centre in Middleton up to June 29.

It will provide support by offering participants the opportunity to speak openly about death, dying and all the emotional, spiritual, and practical aspects of the death of a loved one. It will also look at the practical steps that need to be taken to arrange everything from funerals to finances.

Meeting in small groups with experts in their fields, Dying to Talk will offer a safe space to anyone who is facing the passing of a loved one. Over six weeks, participants will meet to discuss a range of topics that aim to equip them as they face this difficult time.

The course will start with a session led by Sister Louvain Birchenough, of Springhill Hospice in Rochdale, who will share what to expect during the final days and hours before a loved one dies. The aim being to prepare participants and reduce the fear and uncertainty at this time.

The following sessions cover the practical aspects of registering the death, working with the undertaker, managing the will and estate and financial considerations. The sessions will offer the opportunity to discuss topics with solicitors, registrars and funeral directors.

These include Registering and All That, led by Aileen Bollard, Rochdale Registration and Celebrant Services; Working with the Undertaker, led by Dixons Funeral Service; Wills and Legacies Explained, led by Donna Myers, solicitor and diocesan registrar; and Let’s Talk About Finances, led by Judith Dunn, assistant solicitor at Molesworth’s Bright Clegg.

Finally, the course will conclude with a session designed to support participants as they face living with grief and bereavement led by Revd Anne.

Organisers say that no course can avoid the devastation that losing a loved one brings, it simply aims to help by offering a guide through this dark time. All faiths and none are welcome and participants can attend the full course, or drop in for specific sessions.

To find out more information, contact Revd Anne on or by phone 01706 346774.