Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if the death has occurred?

Look for movement to the chest. Can you feel a pulse? Does a mirror mist over if held to the mouth? Does the person respond to a pain stimulus?

If you are unsure then immediately ring for an ambulance.

Does the body need to be moved by a funeral director?

No - a body may be kept at home, with technical help of the funeral director, for several days.

Where is the body kept once it has been moved?

The body will be kept in our mortuary which uses refrigeration to aid the preservation of the deceased. The body will remain here until it has been prepared for the chapel of rest.

What do I do next?

You will need to collect the medical death certificate which you will then need to take to the registrar. You will also need to make initial contact with a funeral director.

Where do I collect the medical death certificate?

If the death has occurred at home, the GP will issue the medical death certificate. They will either give this to you directly or you may need to collect it from the surgery. If the death occurred in a hospital you will be given the certificate by the bereavement office.

Where do I register the death?

The death will need to be registered in the area where the death occurred, even if the death occurred a distance from home. The hospital and/or the funeral director will be able to advise you on this.

How many copies of the death certificate will I need?

The Registrar will issue you with one copy. You will need another 4-5 copies to be able to send to the bank, solicitors etc. They cost approx. £4.30 each.

When do I have to register by?

Deaths in England and Wales or Northern Ireland should be registered within 5 days - if this is not going to be possible, you should inform the Registrar. In Scotland, deaths must be registered within 8 days.

How soon can the funeral take place?

It is best to allow between 7 to 10 days, however in particular circumstances the funeral can take place within 24 hours of the death. We will, of course, ensure that the date of the funeral is convenient for the family.

What is a chapel of rest?

The chapel of rest is a viewing room which allows families to privately pay their respects to the deceased.

Can I bring in clothing for the deceased to be dressed in?

Yes you can, alternatively we can dress the deceased in one of our gowns.

Can I assist with the dressing of the deceased?

Yes, we welcome any family members that may want to assist.

Am I able to put personal items into the coffin?

Yes, you can put personal items in the coffin, however we cannot allow any metal and glass items.

What is embalming?

It is an invasive preservation technique that involves introducing a chemical preservative through the vascular system. We only suggest this option when a body is to be kept for some time, exported by air or the coffin is to be opened during a church service.

British Institute of Embalmers

Burial or Cremation? Some facts:

In the UK about 75% of funerals involve cremation. Cremation is generally cheaper. Cremations are carried out one at a time and the ash (called cremated remains) which consists of crushed dried desiccated bone fragments is collected before the next coffin is introduced into the cremator. The three main crematoria in our area require 4 hours to complete the process. Cremated remains can be scattered in the Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium, strewn (poured under a turf), buried loose or in an urn or casket in a grave or taken away by the family.

Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management

Do I have to have a religious ceremony?

Most funerals in the UK follow traditional religious practices with a typical service taking approx. 20-30 minutes. In some cases this may extend to over an hour.

However there is also the option of a secular service which would include poetry, music and an appreciation of the deceased’s life. We are able to arrange a secular officiant for you.

Humanist Funerals and Memorials
Funeral Information from The Catholic Church
Funeral Information from The Church of England
Funeral Information from The Methodist Church
Funeral Information from The Baptist Church
Funeral Information for Sikhs
Funeral Information for Buddhists
Funeral Information for Muslims
Funeral Information for the Jewish Community

Can members of the family and funeral bear the coffin?

Most definitely - to help, we would give a quick briefing to ensure that all are prepared and we will be on hand to help at all times with carrying the coffin.

Is there any other mode of transportation apart from the hearse to carry the coffin?

We can organise horsedrawn carriages, motorcycle hearses or tractor trailers. We can accommodate most requests for funeral transportation as long as they are safe.

How soon can I collect the cremated remains after the funeral?

You are able to collect the cremated remains the next working day, following the funeral. It is possible to have them back on the same day of the funeral as long as the service takes place first thing in the morning.

Is the coffin cremated with the deceased?

Yes. Once the coffin has left the funeral directors the deceased cannot be removed from it.

How do I know that the cremated remains I receive back are those of my loved ones?

The cremation process is governed by strict rules and regulations. The crematorium authorities take great care to ensure that every individual cremation is kept completely separate.

How much will the funeral cost?

There are several factors that determine the funeral cost i.e. style of funeral, choice of coffin, number of limousines required, etc. We will provide you with an itemised estimate of funeral costs.

How do I pay?

We request a deposit to cover the disbursements (i.e. clergy, cemetery, crematorium fees) and half of the funeral director's fees. An invoice is sent out after the funeral for the balance to be settled.

What if I cannot pay?

If you are having trouble paying for a funeral that you have to arrange, you may be able to get a Social Fund Funeral Payment to help you with the cost, however it is not a set figure as each case is looked at individually.

Department for Works and Pensions - Funeral Payments