Making funeral arrangements through the Coronavirus pandemic

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

Can I still have a funeral?

Yes, the Government have explicitly allowed funerals to continue. Up to 30 people can attend (according to the size of the venue). Many service locations (such as Crematoria) have applied their own limits based on the size of their venue and social distancing requirements. Funerals held in a place of worship on a separate occasion (not part of communal worship) are also limited to a maximum of 30 people (dependent on venue size). A funeral held in a place of worship as part of communal worship is limited only by the size of the venue with social distancing measures applied. Give us a call and we can confirm what the local arrangements are.

Can I still go to church?

Yes, but the number of mourners who may attend is capped at 30 where the funeral is not included as part of communal worship. Not all churches have reopened yet. We are in contact with local faith leaders and can let you know what’s going on local to you.

Planning the funeral?

Although this will be difficult for everyone, funeral numbers remain modest. Guidance advises that there should be no congregational singing during the ceremony. In most venues we are able to provide recorded music, photo tributes and the option for mourners to participate in the services with readings and eulogies remains. Some venues will allow us to make arrangements for performance by professional singers or musicians.

How else can people take part?

It’s really important that mourners who are legally required to isolate and others unable to attend the funeral are given the opportunity to attend the funeral ceremony remotely. Most crematoria offer live streaming options (for a fee). For other venues we can organise to stream the ceremony using Zoom (depending on mobile phone coverage) or we can record the funeral for you to share or watch later. We can support someone else present to stream the ceremony using their own device. For a more professional approach we can arrange for a professional video company to stream and record the ceremony for a fee. We can also provide virtual attendees a digital copy of the order of service to follow during the ceremony.

Is a post-funeral gathering allowed?

Yes – up to 15 people can gather in a COVID-19 Secure venue. This applies everywhere whatever the COVID-19 alert levels. 6 people (or as many people as make up your household or support bubble) can gather in a private dwelling or garden. You cannot attend a reception after the funeral If you are legally required to isolate. The exemption to attend a funeral does not extend to a reception after.

Guidance on social distancing should be observed at all times. Where food or drink is served this should take place in a COVID-19 Secure venue in the form of a sit down event with table service. Guidance on wearing face coverings should also be followed.

Can I still choose a coffin?

At the present time, we are still able to provide a full range of coffin choices. As the majority of our coffins are made to order - restrictions may be applied according to availability. You can find our brochure here CPJ Field coffins

Will cremations become mandatory?

No. The government has taken steps to ensure that specific preferences that relate to religious belief are respected in particular relation to the requirement for burial over cremation.

Could the funeral be delayed?

There should be no reason to delay the funeral beyond the availability of the cemetery or crematorium to accommodate a service. Government sets out why it is important that funerals are not delayed.

At the present time, we are not experiencing any significant delays to funerals. It might be tempting to wait until the restrictions on attendance are eased further. Our advice remains that things are unlikely to change significantly in the immediate future and recommend organising a private funeral attended by the number allowed and plan to hold an event (memorial service for example) when the restrictions are eased enough to allow the size of gathering you want. Our funeral director will provide you with further advice and guidance.

What if my Funeral Director has to close?

We are a longstanding family business with a number of funeral homes. In the event that our funeral home local to you has to close temporarily, we will ensure that you are provided with continuity of care through a named funeral director during that period of closure. A temporary closure of a funeral home will not adversely impact our ability to deliver funeral ceremonies or services.

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