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Self-arranged funerals

A funeral director will help support you during what is an already difficult time.   

However, you can choose to not have a funeral director and arrange the funeral yourself.  

The following information is a guide to the process for a cremation service.

Arrange care for the deceased

If your loved one dies in a care home or at a hospital, they often have the facilities to care for them until the funeral.

When arranging yourself, you will need to confirm with them that they can care for your loved one until the service. The hospital or deceased’s GP will be able to provide a medical death certificate, which you need to pay for at the time.

Purple flowers

Home deaths

If a person passes away at home, you will need to call their doctor or an out-of-hours doctor. The death certificate can then be provided from the GP surgery.

You will also need to make arrangements to care for the deceased until the funeral.

Register the death of the deaceased

You need to register the death within 5 days in England and Wales, or 8 in Scotland.

To register the death, you will need to have a signed medical death certificate from a doctor.

You will not be able to make any funeral arrangements until the death is registered.

Decide on the coffin

For the cremation, you will need to decide on a coffin for the deceased to rest in.

A coffin can be as simple or extravagant as your budget and preference allows. Coffins can be made for anything from cardboard and wicker to traditional oak.

A simple cardboard coffin would be around £300.

Close up images of purple flowers in clusters.
Purple flowers

Choose and book a crematorium

We offer a tour of our crematoria. To arrange a visit, contact our office on 01494 724 263.

We offer a variety of services;

  • direct cremation service with no attendees
  • early morning reduced fee service
  • standard service
  • double service time

For our current prices, see our fees

Once you have decided where you would like the service, call the crematorium to book the type of service, date and time.

What we need

We’ll need certain paperwork from you to finalise your service. You’ll need to provide this to us by 9 a.m. 2 working days before the day of service.

These include:

  • service arrangement form
  • registrars certificate
  • cremation 1 form
  • statement of understanding
  • cremation 4 form – which will need payment and completion by the Doctor or hospital Doctor of the deceased

We’ll also need full payment made for the cremation service to the crematorium at time of booking.

You can then start planning the service.

Transport of the deceased

You’ll need to arrange transport for the deceased to the crematorium.

Hearses traditionally transport the deceased to the funeral. However, you can transport your loved one in any suitable vehicle. This could be a car, van, or private ambulance to name a few.

You’ll also need to think about how the coffin will enter the chapel. You could:

  • hire bearers to carry the coffin
  • ask attendees to carry the coffin
  • hire a wheeled bier at the crematorium
  • ask for the coffin to be placed in chapel before the service

Organising the funeral service

Funeral services do not need to be traditional. You can choose to have a religious representative or celebrant lead your service for you.

Your chosen representative will discuss your loved one with you before the service. They will help plan your service focussing on key aspects of your loved one’s life.

You can choose not to have a professional lead your service and have friends and family lead. Yet, you will need to be aware of the service time. Ensuring that you include all elements that you would like in your allotted time.

Focus view of a red flower with yellow, white and green wild plants blurred behind.
Wild flowers

Frequently asked questions

You will need to consider where your loved one will rest until the day of the funeral. Warm temperatures can affect the speed at which a body decomposes, so keeping the body in a cool room is vital.  

If you are keeping the body at home, you may want to consider hiring a portable air-conditioning unit. It is not recommended to keep the body at home for longer than one week. It may be sensible to call on the help of professionals to look after the person’s body between their death and the funeral.  

You will need to consider where your loved one will rest until the day of the funeral. Warm temperatures can affect the speed at which a body decomposes, so keeping the body in a cool room is vital.  

If you are keeping the body at home, you may want to consider hiring a portable air-conditioning unit. It is not recommended to keep the body at home for longer than one week. It may be sensible to call on the help of professionals to look after the person’s body between their death and the funeral.  

For further information on registering a death, visit Register a Death – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . 

Contact our office and request the cremation forms. These can be sent via email or collected in person from our office.

The Cremation 1 form is also available on the government website. 

You can use a shroud made of cloth instead of a coffin if you prefer.  You will need to place this on a secure board with an attached foot plate.

If you wish to use a shroud, please contact the crematoria for guidance and to notify us.  

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