Funeral Services & procedures
Arranging a Cremation
When a cremation is required a funeral director should normally be instructed to make the desired arrangements as they have the experience and facilities to assist you with your requirements. They will give the necessary notice of the proposed day and time for the funeral and have the application forms needed for completion.
Self Arranged Cremations
Occasionally enquiries are received about arranging a cremation without the involvement of a funeral director. This is possible and more information can be obtained on the Self Arranged Funerals section
Any recognised form of service, religious or civil, may be held in the all-denominational chapels. All of the proceedings can take place at the Crematorium, or a shorter committal service may be held following the main ceremony in a church or some other place. A funeral ceremony, religious or civil, is not obligatory and a cremation can be arranged without one if you wish.
Both chapels are equipped with a digital computer classical organ which is particularly recommended to be used when hymns are being sung during the service. An organist can be provided (for an additional fee) or alternatively you or your funeral director can arrange your own organist. The hymn book 'Common Praise' is available, and a good range of music for voluntaries at the beginning and end of service; it is important that your requirements in this respect are notified to the office well in advance of the service in case special arrangements have to be made to obtain the music or words, or an alternative choice has to be made.
Both chapels are also equipped with a music reproduction system from which music can be selected from the extensive computerised database. This system is used to provide music either when there is no organist in attendance or to augment the organ with personal choices of music of any sort. The database includes a selection of popular hymns which can be used to accompany singing instead of an organist. When a piece of music is not on the current database it can be requested directly by you or your funeral director from the system supplier who can nearly always make it available, but again such requests must be made in plenty of time before the service. You can use our Music database to help make your selection.
Your funeral director or the person conducting the funeral service will notify the Crematorium of your musical requirements, or alternatively you may wish to contact the office yourself.
Viewing of the service
Services can now be broadcast live over the internet for those who are unable to attend a service.
Copies of services are also available on DVD and audio copies are available on CD. Please contact the office or your funeral director for further information and prices.
Committal of the Coffin
The coffin name plate is checked by a member of staff on arrival at the Crematorium, and again before it is placed in the cremator. Great care is taken to ensure the correct identity of the deceased person is maintained throughout the process until the final disposal of the cremation ashes.
Committal of the coffin is normally screened from view by the closing of curtains or alternatively there are wooden gates which when closed only partially obscure the coffin from view. If desired it is not necessary for either of these things to happen with the coffin remaining in full view throughout the entire proceedings. Whatever your wishes in this respect it is important that they are made known in advance of the service.
After the service relatives may wish to witness the coffin being committed into the cremator. For practical reasons only a few people are able to attend, and it is essential that the Superintendent is advised in advance of this request so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
The Superintendent welcomes members of the public to inspect the premises without arrangement, although for mutual convenience the making of an appointment by telephoning in advance is recommended.
The Cremation is carried out in accordance with the Guiding Principles of Cremation issued by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management
Dispersal of Ashes in the Garden of Remembrance
Cremation ashes can be dispersed in the woodland areas of the Garden of Remembrance. When instructions have been received for disposal of the ashes in this way, a period of fourteen days is allowed to elapse before the dispersal is carried out in case relatives change their minds because once the ashes have been scattered they cannot be retrieved. A change of instructions form can be obtained by viewing the form below.
Relatives may wish to attend the scattering and an appointment for a mutually convenient time can be arranged with the Superintendent. One reason why some people like to be present for this ceremony is so that they can relocate the exact position of ashes in the future, as normally only the area in which they have been dispersed is recorded.
Removal of Ashes from the Crematorium
Cremation ashes can be collected from the crematorium for disposal elsewhere. Relatives normally nominate their Funeral Director to collect the ashes. They can if they wish collect the ashes themselves or nominate some other person, but if so it is advisable to check on availability with the crematorium office first (cremation can be delayed for up to 3 days after the funeral service).
Cremation ashes can also be despatched by carrier, for a fee, to any address in the British Isles.
Ashes retained at the Crematorium on temporary deposit
It is not necessary to make an immediate decision about the final disposal of cremation ashes. If relatives are unsure about their requirements in this respect then ashes can be retained temporarily at the Crematorium for up to three months (a small charge is made after the first month). This gives the relatives time to consider the arrangements they may wish to make.
Each chapel is served by a floral tribute court for the display of floral tributes following a funeral service. Mourners are free to either take the tributes away after the service, or alternatively leave them on display in the floral tribute court. Tributes left at the Crematorium will remain on display until Monday mornings, or as soon as possible thereafter following public holidays, when they are disposed of.
This ensures that whether the funeral takes place at the beginning or end of the week mourners have the opportunity, if they wish, to return on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday, when there are no funerals, to view the flowers again in relative peace and quiet. However, please note that unfortunately for practical reasons the Joint Committee and its staff cannot accept any responsibility for floral tributes left at the Crematorium either before, during or after a funeral service.