Funeral services through the Coronavirus pandemic

Caring for the living and the dead through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Can I go to a funeral?

From 9 July 2020 funerals can be attended by anyone who wishes to attend. Guidance says attendance should be kept to a “modest” number. Clinically vulnerable and extremely vulnerable people can attend if some special measures are put in place. Please notify us if this necessary. Anyone living in the same household as someone who is self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus but doesn’t have symptoms of the virus themselves can attend. Even if advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Consideration should be given to other vulnerable mourners who may be attending in these circumstances. Sadly people experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) will not be able to attend.

How many people can attend?

30 people may attend a funeral in a place of worship. For funerals held inside at a crematorium or a cemetery the limit is set by them and is defined by the size of the venue and the social distancing requirements (2 metres). Where it is possible to be outside (burial in a cemetery or where a crematorium has screens and speakers outside the chapel to relay the service for example) the number will be decided by the operator in accordance with what they believe they can safely manage in accordance with social distancing rules. Our funeral director will be able to provide you with full details according to the practices of the ceremony venue that you have selected.

How can other people take part?

There are a number of ways in which people can take part. For immediate family the opportunity to speak, reflect, play music or sing, still remains. You can enable people to listen to music and readings that reflect the life of the deceased. Many venues offer streaming services to enable those unable to attend in person, the opportunity to take part virtually. Where this is not offered by the venue we can organise to stream the funeral using Zoom if you wish.

What if my crematorium has to close?

Crematoria have taken steps to manage the pressure they experienced in the first wave of the virus. This ensured that wait times for services was kept (on the whole) to a reasonable level and none of our partner crematoria had to close. Our funeral director will be able to advise on the available choices during the arrangement.

If I have to cancel will I get a refund?

All funeral arrangements made outside of our funeral homes are subject to a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period. As such if you have to cancel an arrangement, you are entitled to a refund except for those unavoidable costs that we have had to incur in the process of the arrangement up until that point. Our full Terms and Conditions of Service are available for review on our website.

How will it be different from usual?

We will do all we can to ensure that funeral arrangements are able to continue as seamlessly as possible. The most noticeable difference is likely to be the spacing of pews/chairs during the ceremony, and requests to refrain from contact with family/friends who are not resident in your own household. Individual ceremony venues have applied their own measures (such as temporary closure of some buildings). Our funeral director will be able to explain these during the arrangement. Many ceremonies are offering streaming services to enable wider family/friends to join the funeral ceremony virtually. Some funeral ceremony venues have placed shortened timing restrictions in place. Our funeral director will be able to advise on the specific measures in place at the venue you choose.

How to create a virtual post-funeral gathering?

Whilst physical gatherings of people are postponed at the moment, we have created some guidance on how you can hold a virtual funeral reception following a funeral service, giving those unable to attend in person the opportunity to take part. It will also be possible to hold a memorial service, gathering or wake at a later date, further advice on this can be found here

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