How the pandemic has affected the funeral arrangements
Arranging the Funeral
Our offices are open by appointment for meetings. Home visits can be organised, though you may prefer to chat over the phone or by Zoom/Facetime etc. If necessary we can help you arrange the whole funeral without face to face contact.
Viewing your loved one
Following advice from the National Association of Funeral Directors, we are allowing viewing of the deceased including those who have had exposure to Covid. Viewings are strictly by appointment. Masks are optional in accordance with government legislation and care should be taken to sanitise your hands before and after the viewing.
How many are allowed at the funeral?
There is no longer a maximum number of attendees set out in law for funerals or commemorative events. Instead, the number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue or outdoor space can safely accommodate. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19
Vale Royal Crematorium
No ristrictions on mourners inside the chapel. Room for 91 seated plus standing room inside and outside. Speakers can broadcast the audio outside for friends to listen to the service. The service can also be webcast and recorded for those unable to attend.
Birches Park Crematorium
No ristrictions on mourners inside the chapel. Room for 80 seated plus additional seating for 21 in the entrance and exit rooms where the service may be viewed on screens. An audio feed can be played outside so friends can listen to the service . The service can be webcast and recorded for those unable to attend.
A strict maximum of 60 mourners inside the chapel though no more than 50 is recommended. Limited numbers of friends are permitted to gather outside the chapel but are not able to listen to the service. The curtains must be closed during the service.
Walton Lea Crematorium
A strict maximum of 80 mourners inside the chapel, 10 people standing in the entrance foyer and unlimited numbers can listen standing outside.
A strict maximum of 48 mourners inside the chapel. Friends are not permitted to listen inside the foyer but unlimted numbers can listen outside through the speakers.
The hymn books have been removed from the chapel but singing is allowed therefore a service sheet would be necessary.
The majority of churches are now open though many have elderly clergy and stewards/cleaners making opening more problematic. Where burial is required when the church is closed, a graveside service can be arranged. Each church's capacity is limited by it's size.
Generally, cemeteries are allowing unrestricted numbers.
In a COVID-secure venue, where the premises are operated or used by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body (such as a place of worship or a hospitality venue), your venue manager will need to tell you the maximum number of people who will be able to attend.
What else has changed?
Due in some cases to an inability to travel to funeral services, online webcasting is proving invaluable. Most of the crematoria have this facility (Altrincham Crem's webcast facility is unreliable) and can provide a recording of the service afterwards. Some Churches have live streaming capabilities also, usually via YouTube. Unfortunately not every venue has this technology so this is a major consideration when choosing the location of the funeral. We can arrange for independant webcasting for as an extra expense.
Altrincham and Macclesfield Crems have limited chapel time to 20 minutes (including entry and exit)
Vale Royal & Birches Park are still allowing 45 minutes (including entry and exit)
Longer timeslots and double bookings can be made for additional cost.
Registration of the death
The pandemic has forced the government to streamiline the registration process bringing it into the 21st century. Now the Doctor responsible for the certification of the death will email documents directly to the registrar in question. The family just need to call the registrar for an appointment to register the death over the phone. The registrar will also take payment for death certificates and send them in the post.
"Our support and attention to detail is why the community trust us and has done for generations."