Arranging a funeral for your loved one is a daunting prospect at any time. In the current situation, we understand that you will have even more questions, and we are here to help you find the best way forward.
We all find ourselves with difficult choices to make, and the restrictions and advice on gatherings and social distancing also now apply to funerals.
What does this mean for your loved one’s funeral?
For funerals at Bretby Crematorium, the following measures are now in place, for the safety and health of your family and friends, as well as our team.
Attendance in person
On the advice of the Government, Public Health Officials and the major Churches and other religious organisations, funerals will be reserved for immediate family only. The recommendation is that this is no more than 10 mourners. This may include partners, parents, sibling, children, and grandchildren.
Webcasts of services
We understand the restriction on numbers will be difficult, so webcasting facilities will be available wherever possible so other friends and family can “attend” via the web. There is no charge for this service.
Removal of hymn books
For hygiene purposes, we will not be able to provide hymn books for the service, but you may still choose to have an order of service. Most families would choose to have the words to any hymns in the order of service, and we can help provide you with any wording you might need.
Touching the coffin
We know that many people like to feel close to their loved one at this time by touching the coffin. We are sure that in the current climate, with the focus on hygiene and transmission of the virus, that you will understand when we ask you not to do so. The curtains will be closed around the coffin at the end of the service.
Carrying the coffin
Our funeral directors are being recommended to use a wheeled bier to bring your loved one’s coffin into the service. This is at their discretion but is an effort to apply social distancing recommendations to everyone in attendance.
Please be assured that we will be taking extra measures between services to protect all mourners, including the anti-bacterial wiping of the most frequently used hard surfaces. You will see notices in the chapel to show the location of handwashing facilities.
Even with a small group, we would still recommend that you sit some distance apart. While our natural instinct, particularly at a time like this, would be to hug or shake hands, we would ask you to consider not doing so.
We will provide extra bins in the chapels for any tissues.
Our staff will be wearing gloves and will keep appropriate distances during the ceremony.
Mourners in self-isolation or with symptoms of COVID19
Even at this difficult time, should a mourner be partway through a period of self-isolation, or have any symptoms of the virus, then they should not attend the service. They will be able to join via the webcast.
The crematorium office
Currently, the main office is closed. This means that the Book of Remembrance is not available, nor the witnessed scattering of ashes.
The beautiful grounds at Bretby will remain open for you and your family members who want to have some personal space to remember your loved one.
Meeting with the clergy or celebrants
While individual clergy and celebrants will make their own arrangements, we would encourage everyone to think about alternative ways to discuss the ceremony, rather than face to face meetings. As part of us all trying to do our bit, you could ask for meetings to take place over the phone, or by Skype or FaceTime, for example.