COVID-19

15th April 2020

We would like to assure you, our clients and local communities, that the safety and wellbeing of the families we serve and that of our staff is of paramount importance to us in these uncertain times.

Our premises have always been cleaned to a high standard, however we have increased the frequency of cleaning and ensured particular care is taken when cleaning door handles. Alcohol hand sanitiser is provided as you enter our premises, please use the facilities provided.

Procedures to deal with the impact of COVID-19 are constantly being updated and we will ensure that whilst following advice and guidance from our trade associations and local authorities we will provide the same care to our families.

Whilst working within Public Health England guidelines, we must also follow the procedures set by Crematoria, Burial Authorities and various Churches.

As you will see below, there will be some changes to funeral arrangements, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their understanding and co-operation during these difficult times.

Some churches have stipulated that services are restricted to three or four family members inside the church and no more than fifteen at a graveside service. Most are not allowing services in Church at all.

Given the above, we feel it would be better to offer a simple service at the cemetery or crematorium followed by a memorial service later in the year. This seems to be the safest solution in the current situation.

Crematoria have their own guidelines, but the general rule is to limit the mourners to the immediate family number restrictions ranging from 24 down to 5. It is possible to have a funeral service live streamed or recorded at most Crematoria.

At the crematorium, you are urged not to touch door handles or enter any of the buildings on your own accord and not to use the waiting rooms but wait in your car until just before the service time, use hand sanitiser on entry and to congregate, enter and sit with 2 meters between each person.

Due to high demand and staff issues, our coffin suppliers have a limited range of coffins available at this time. Please check availability with your funeral director.

The registration process has now been streamlined to allow as little physical contact as possible between parties. Doctors can send the medical certificate of cause of death directly to the registrars’ office instead of collection by a family member. The registration can then take place via telephone. The necessary paperwork will be sent directly to families and funeral directors after registration. If the family are suffering from illness, other people including the funeral director can temporarily register a death.

To protect our families and staff we are implementing the following actions:

Following the government guidance after the announcement from the prime minister on Monday evening funerals are now to be attended by immediate family only. Where there are no immediate family members, it is acceptable for wider family members or close friends to attend.

Please could family members with cornavirus, showing symptoms of coronavirus, or in isolation not attend funerals.

Funeral arrangements are to be made over the phone and the signing of forms to take place in a designated area at our office or electronically.

Entering our premises is strictly by appointment only.

Limousines will not be used to transport mourners.

We would not be able to provide ‘into church’ or ‘into house’ prior to the funeral.

Viewing at our Chapel of Rest is restricted to two people at a time.

Many of our clients greet and depart from our staff with a handshake or a hug, we kindly ask that you refrain from doing so at this time.

In the event of further escalation of the virus and/or compliance with regulations the following may need to be implemented.

Viewing at our Chapel may be restricted to protect everyone concerned, but we would endeavour to allow clients to sit with the sealed coffin.

We would meet our families at the crematorium or cemetery on the day of the funeral.

There will not be any embalming during this period.

At the time of writing these are our present intentions, but this is a changing situation and we are likely to receive further updates from the government and the public health department.

Thank you for your understanding.