Self-arranged funerals

We are occasionally asked to provide information to help people who wish to arrange a funeral without the traditional use of a funeral director.

In response to these requests, the enclosed notes set out the procedures and the requirements to help you arrange the funeral. These include advice on how to proceed with the statutory paperwork, how to obtain a coffin, advice on need for a minister etc., transport requirements and information about music at the service.

Provisional Booking of Cremation Service

You can contact us either by telephoning or visiting the office when we will be able to assist you in booking a funeral service.  However, the chapel and timings are subject to availability. Sufficient time is needed between the death and the funeral to allow for the completion of the statutory forms located in the downloads section on the right hand side.

Funeral services take place on weekdays between 9.15 a.m. and 4.45 p.m. and on Saturday mornings between 9.15 a.m. and 12.15 p.m. every 45 minutes.  Please note that there is a maximum service time of 35 minutes.

When booking, staff will ask you for details of the deceased and some other aspects of the service. More details will be added later on the forms that we supply you with from the office.

Once the provisional booking has been made a series of arrangements must be made as soon as possible. These may seem difficult but in practice they soon fall into place. It is important to ensure that the required forms are prepared. These will be supplied by the crematorium and are as follows: -

1. word icon Notice of Cremation [51kb]

This form gives all the information we require in writing. It confirms any details missing from the provisional booking. We can help you fill in this form in the crematorium office.

2. word icon Crem 1 Form (Application for Cremation) [55kb]

This form must be completed by the nearest surviving relative or executor. If not, a reason why some other person has applied must be given. The details required are quite straightforward and should not pose any difficulties. A householder known to the applicant must countersign the form. Once again we can help you fill in this form in the office.

3. word icon Information About The Disposal of Cremation Ashes [45kb]

This form must be completed by the applicant completing form 1 giving instructions about disposal of ashes.

4. Forms 4 & 5 Medical Forms

You must notify the doctor of the deceased, who attended during the last illness and tell them you are arranging a cremation. Whether a GP or hospital doctor, they will obtain these forms and complete them for you. In some cases, if the deceased died in hospital and a post mortem examination is carried out, only Form 4 will be needed. We will complete the Form 10 after you have passed the completed documents to us.

If the death is reported to the Coroner, a certificate for cremation may be issued which negates the need for Form 4 and 5. This usually necessitates a post-mortem being organised and/or an inquest. Reporting the death in this way is quite usual and you should not be alarmed. If such a certificate is issued (free of charge), you will not need to pay for the doctors' forms. The Coroner's officer or other staff will keep you informed of progress by the Coroner.

5. Registrar's Certificate

This will be required at all times except when the Coroner's certificate is issued. You will need to visit the Registrar of Deaths in the district where the deceased died. The Registrar will issue a Certificate of Cremation which you should pass to us as soon as possible.

This will complete the statutory forms and consideration must now be given to the funeral arrangements.

The Chilterns Crematorium does not provide a funeral directing service and cannot collect bodies and convey them to the Crematorium. Please contact Chilterns Crematorium direct for a list of local funeral directors who are willing to provide you with as much or as little help as you may need. This could include: -

> Supplying a coffin
> Transporting the body
> Providing Refrigeration Facilities


With cremation a coffin is essential to allow us to place the body in the cremator. The base of the coffin must be hard and smooth to enable it to be placed in the cremator. The options are as follows:

1. You can use a standard coffin. All standard coffins are made from chipboard and one of the funeral directors on our list would be able to supply one of these.

2. You can use a more Eco Friendly coffin. There are various types available and we can give you the name and address of suppliers. One of the funeral directors would be able to supply this. Please allow enough time for the coffin to be delivered before the day of the funeral.

3. You may construct your own coffin using chipboard or wood. If you decide on this option please ask for more details on which materials to use.

4. It is possible for only a shroud to be used, but the requirements for a hard and smooth base and also a foot piece are necessary to enable it to be placed in the cremator. If you wish to use this option please contact the office for more details.

In all cases the coffin should not exceed 31 inches in width or 7 feet in length.

Transporting the Coffin

The transport of the coffin with or without the body requires a van or large estate car. Alternatively you may ask one of the funeral directors to help you with this. You have a common law right as an executor to be given the body. You will need to speak to the mortuary staff to arrange for the collection. They will inform you of any necessary procedures.

Once you have removed the body or if the deceased died at home, you need to consider how to proceed. The body can be retained at home up until the funeral but the room must be cool, and try to avoid difficult stairs. If you prefer, the body may be left at the mortuary and collected on the day of the funeral, or alternatively the body in the coffin may be brought to the crematorium early on the morning of the funeral service or even on the evening before, using our "coffin waiting" facility.


Further information about the chapels

Information about Funeral Services, Music, Committal of Coffin, Cremation Procedure, Cremation Ashes and Floral Tributes.

The Natural Death Society - The Natural Death Centre offers a range of services and literature concerning self arranged funerals.


12a Blackstock Mews
Blackstock Road
N4 2BT
Telephone No. (0871) 288 2098