Often, the deceased will have left information in his/her will concerning what they want to be included in the funeral service (hymns, prayers) and will also say whether they wanted to be buried or cremated. The funeral is held after death in a church or at a crematorium. This can take place in some cases up to a month after the death has occurred.
The most common form of burial is in a churchyard or cemetery. Subject to local regulations and availability you normally have the choice between using a new or existing grave.
If a grave is already in existence (family plot) we will need the deeds of the grave or some documentation relating to the grave, which may be in your possession. We will help you if you do not have the deeds and will check that there is space for further burials.
When purchasing a new grave, some authorities may allow you to reserve or purchase grave space next to the one to be used.
There may be fees for;
- Purchasing a new grave.
- Opening or reopening the grave
- Removal and replacement of existing memorials
We will advise you on the local charges accordingly.
There are alternatives to burial in a churchyard or cemetery, such as burial in a vault, burial at sea and natural or woodland burials.
Burial at Sea
This is a unique and hugely moving experience and straightforward to arrange. It is not only an option for former sailors or Naval personnel, but is available to everybody and is preferred by some as an environmentally-friendly funeral option. If you have a loved one who spent their life on the water, or who enjoyed the peaceful serenity of the waves we can help to make the sea their final resting place.
There are however strict regulations surrounding how it is undertaken. There are only two main sites where Burial at Sea is allowed to take place in England:
- Off the Needles, Isle of Wight
- Between Hastings and Newhaven, on the South Coast
There is also an emergency site off the Northumberland coast, near Tynemouth, but permission to use this is only granted in exceptional circumstances and requires a special license from the Marine Management Organisation.
Eco or Natural and Woodland Burials
These are increasing in popularity as concerns for the loss of trees and wildlife become widespread and several councils, private companies and individuals have recognised that burial facilities can be designed to offer many benefits to wildlife, whilst also introducing greater choice for the bereaved.
Woodland graves offer a return to nature for those who wish to be buried in areas where trees, shrubs and wild flowers grow. Woodland burial plots are set amongst trees and wildflowers, and families can choose to bury or scatter the ashes of a loved one within the peaceful grounds. Instead of a traditional headstone, graves are marked by the planting of a memorial tree or the placing of a simple bronze plaque.
The funeral process is different for each type of religion, and we are able to conduct any type according to requests.
Non religious ceremonies
This may be appropriate for someone who has no belief in a Deity, God or other ‘higher being’, possibly being Agnostic, Atheist, Communist or Humanist. A non-religious ceremony can be held in ‘Any place that is capable of holding a coffin and a group of mourners with dignity’, the final disposal of the deceased often assisting choice of location. Basically any person can conduct a non-religious ceremony, including family and friends, a funeral director or a Civil Funeral Celebrant. Civil Funeral Celebrants lead the funeral ceremony and work in consultation with the family and the Funeral Director.