Arranging a Funeral
You will first need to register the death before a person’s funeral can proceed. Please follow this link to obtain further information regarding Registering a Death and information on the legal paperwork required from the Register Office in order to arrange a short notice burial for a person of a particular faith.
Contacting the Funeral Director:
- You will need to contact the Funeral Director as soon as possible about the death and burial/cremation plans so they can start preparations and timetable you into their schedule.
- Bereaved family members will want to go through the grieving process with dignity and respect for the deceased, and all services in place will support you to enable this to happen. We urge you during these difficult times to make arrangements with your Funeral Director for the funeral to take place as soon as is possible. Your Funeral Director will advise you on how to proceed with this, with the upmost care.
- If your faith requires a quick burial, i.e. Muslim, Jewish and Gypsy/Roma you will need to ask for a Short Notice Burial.
Contacting Your Local Place of Worship:
- Your local place of worship may be used for the funeral service.
- You may also wish to contact your local place of worship so that arrangements can be made for a priest to attend the funeral at the cemetery or crematorium.
Guidance booklet for ‘What to Do After a Death – Practical Guide for Muslims’
- If you are a person of the Muslim faith or are arranging a funeral for a person of the Muslim faith, the guidebook that has previously been published on the website is under review following a number of changes to legal processes after the cessation of the Emergency COVID legislation. This guidebook will be re-published on the website once it has been duly updated.
Performing of Ritual Body Washing (Ghusl):
- Guidance can be given by your faith leader and Funeral Director on how and where this will take place if required.
- If aspects of faith or beliefs include close contact with the deceased, you should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) under the supervision of someone who is trained in the appropriate use of PPE and follow the guidance on care of the deceased, particularly where the deceased has had COVID-19. Your faith leader and Funeral Director will give guidance on who has been given this training.
- HSE guidance "Managing infection risks when handling the deceased"
- PPE guidance from The Royal College of Pathologists
Cemetery and Crematorium Protocols and Procedures
Please follow these protocols and procedures to ensure a consistent approach is used throughout. This will ensure all requirements are met sympathetically and protect religious rights, beliefs and most importantly keep everyone safe.
- 1 immediate family member must be chosen as a point of contact between the council, place of worship (if applicable) and the Funeral Director throughout the process.
- If immediate family members are in self-isolation, then someone from their extended family can be chosen as their representative.
How many people can attend the Cemetery/Crematorium?
- The chapel at the crematorium has a maximum capacity of 161 which includes the balcony space.
- The waiting room at the crematorium chapel are open for families to use.
- Health and safety measures remain in place to continue to protect visitors and staff, including: Sanitisation of chapels and public areas, Hand sanitising stations will remain available, and staff will continue to wear face coverings where appropriate.
Who can attend the Cemetery/Crematorium?
- A Minister of Religion to lead the religious rites (appointed by the family) or the attendance of a celebrant to lead the service.
- Funeral Director.
- 161 mourners maximum in the crematorium chapel with no restriction on the number of mourners allowed at grave side burial.
Backfilling of the Grave:
- Once the body is lowered into the grave, the mourners may perform the backfilling of the grave. This should be arranged with the cemetery office and funeral director in advance where mourners wish to do this themselves.
- The grounds staff routinely undertake the backfilling of the grave and this is either done by hand or by using machinery where appropriate. Any remaining mourners are requested to stand back at a safe distance while this is taking place.
- Once backfilling is complete the family can shape the grave and conclude the final religious rites.
Mourners who are travelling to England from abroad:
- Full details are given here on travelling to England from another country during coronavirus (Covid-19)
Mourners who have COVID-19 symptoms, are self-isolating, or are in quarantine:
Due to the risk you may pose to others, you should not attend if any of the below apply:
- you have COVID-19 symptoms
- you are self-isolating due to a positive test result
- you are in a managed quarantine after arriving into England from a red list country
- Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 should consider others when deciding whether or not to attend a funeral whilst positive. We recommend that you do not attend and view the funeral via WebCast where possible.
- You should respect other attendees and staff who may wish to adopt a more cautious approach.
- Consider reminding other attendees that there are individuals who may choose or need to maintain distancing and/ or wear a face covering. It is important that you don’t identify, or single anyone out, or release personal or confidential information.