The majority of cremations and burials are organised through funeral directors. Funeral directors can assist you in the process and advise what options you have for the service. Please see here for our list of local funeral directors, however you are free to chose which ever funeral director you feel comfortable with.
Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of burials and cremations, some people prefer to organise the burial or cremation themselves.
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director, they may feel that personally organising a burial or cremation is their final tribute to the deceased person. Others may simply wish to save money by doing everything themselves or may have used a funeral director on a previous occasion and found the experience unsatisfactory.
There are many things to consider if you are planning a funeral without a funeral director. You will need to organise a coffin, bearers, transport and you will need to all paper work to be completed and signed by medical referees.
Please contact the cemetery and crematorium office for more information.
There is no requirement to have a religious ceremony, or any kind of ceremony at all at a funeral. People that regard religion to be unimportant or have made a decision to live their lives without it may prefer a Humanist Ceremony.
This type of ceremony is not intended to oppose a religious funeral, but to provide a dignified and respectful celebration of the death that has occurred.
At this type of funeral the services of an officiant, on the lines of a minister or celebrant are commonly employed. They will conduct the proceedings which can involve readings of appropriate prose, tributes by attendees or the officiant and the playing of appropriate music.
Celebrants are trained professionals who can officiate at funerals, weddings, namings or any other rite of passage. For more information on celebrancy visit www.humanism.org.uk
If you don't want a ceremony at all, members of the family or close friends can attend the committal, which can be in silence or with some music being played.
If you have to arrange a funeral for someone who is of a faith different from your own, it is important to contact the equivalent of the local priest of the denomination to find out what needs to be done. Where a funeral director is used he/she will advise and guide on this.
Most Muslim communities appoint one person who is responsible for making funeral arrangements. It will be their job to advise of the rules and to select a suitable funeral director.
Hindus are always cremated, and never buried. There are many possible variations of rites which depend on their form of Hinduism. The Asian Funeral Service can give advice on and arrange Hindu Funerals. They can be contacted by telephone on 020 8909 3737 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish funerals are usually arranged by a dedicated Jewish Funeral Agency, or the local community may have a contract with a Gentile funeral service, which will be carried out under strict rabbinical control.
The Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service offers support and can be contacted on 020 8349 0839.
If you have any difficulty in dealing with the deceased's property, possessions or guardianship of their children, get advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.
Burial and cremation information