Deaths, funerals, cremations and cemeteries

Funeral services

This information was updated 30/03/2021.

All funeral services can now be attended by a maximum of 30 mourners under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020

It is important to ensure that excess numbers are not encouraged to attend the funeral as it could be prevented from proceeding and police may be requested to attend to disperse excess numbers.

We know how difficult it can be to not attend a loved one’s service. This may be because a person is shielding or displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or the maximum 30 persons has been reached. To enable as many people as possible to be part of the service, a live recording (webcast) of the service is being offered for crematorium services at no further charge, please request this through your funeral director.

All mourners are asked to wear a face covering and adhere to two metre social distancing throughout by those not in the same household or support bubble as defined in government guidance which can be found here

During these difficult times, it is helpful if families can work closely with funeral directors to use all of the times being offered for services, allowing families to continue to be able to grieve for their loved ones in the way that they wish.

Holding a wake or commemorative service

A maximum of 6 persons can currently attend a wake or commemorative service such as a scattering or interment of ashes or a stone setting.

Following the Prime Minister’s Announcement on 22nd February this is expected to rise incrementally as set out in the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 - GOV.UK (

Registering a death

All deaths need to be registered in the district in which they took place, a burial or cremation can take place outside of that district. The Registrar of Births and Deaths can issue you with and advise on the appropriate paperwork.

Please click the link below for more information on registering a death in Rotherham.

Register a death

Support following bereavement

It is usual for people to be unsure of what to do following a bereavement. Bereavement Services in Rotherham are delivered on the Council's behalf by Dignity Funeral Services, who can take you through the initial steps and provide advice on other things you may need to think about when someone you know dies. You can also access support and advice through the Listening Ear service or via the RotherHive website.


Dignity Rotherham

Listening Ear

A support service was launched in April 2020 that provides access to free, confidential support during the Coronavirus Pandemic for those who have lost a loved one and those who need support, guidance and advice. This service is called Listening Ear.

Who can refer you/others to the Listening Ear service?

  • Self
  • Police
  • Primary care staff
  • Hospital bereavement services staff
  • Mortuary staff
  • Funeral directors
  • Coroner’s office
  • GP’s
  • Crematorium and bereavement services staff
  • Community and faith organisations

For meaningful support, advice and guidance call freephone 0800 048 5224 or visit

Available Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm


To support mental health and wellbeing a new service called RotherHive has been launched online. RotherHive provides a range of verified practical mental health and wellbeing information, support and advice for adults in Rotherham which includes bereavement support.


Tell Us Once Service

When you register the death the registration officer will ‘capture’ the information and issue you with an access code to use the Tell Us Once service provided by the Department for Work and Pensions in order for you to notify central and local government agencies about the death of your loved one.

The short information video: Using the Tell Us Once Service, explains the service in more detail.

You will be asked for specific information to cancel things like a passport or driving licence as well as the National Insurance number of the person who has died. Tell Us Once can notify:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – to deal with tax and cancel benefits, for example, tax credits and personal tax
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to cancel benefits or entitlements, for example, State Pension, Universal Credit or Income Support
  • Her Majesty’s Passport Office – to cancel a British passport (you’ll need the passport number and town of birth)
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence (you’ll need the licence number) and remove the person as the keeper of up to 5 vehicles (you'll need the vehicle(s) registration) Road tax is not transferable - You must re-tax the vehicle(s) before being driven
  • the local council – to update records, cancel services or benefits, for example Blue Badge or Housing Benefit
  • public sector or armed forces pension schemes – to stop pension payments (you’ll need their National Insurance number)

You'll also need the name, address, telephone number and their permission before giving the details of:

  • the surviving spouse or civil partner, along with their National Insurance number and/or date of birth
  • next of kin (closest relative by blood or marriage)
  • the person or company dealing with the deceased’s estate/affairs (property, belongings and money)

Additional help

We know that this will be a difficult time for you and others. For bereavement and loneliness support and the organisations below can give you help and advice: