Funerals

The government have updated the guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic (external website).

Burials, ashes scattering and stone setting ceremonies

Burials, stone setting ceremonies and ashes scattering must have no more than 30 people attending at our venues, including:

  • Great Missenden Cemetery
  • High Wycombe Cemetery
  • Holtspur Cemetery, Broad Lane, Beaconsfield
  • Parkside Cemetery, Windsor Road, Hedgerley
  • Shepherds Lane Cemetery, Shepherds Lane, Beaconsfield
  • Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens

This is so that we can comply with government requirements and safely manage the venue for visitors, staff and contractors.

Funeral services

From Monday 17 May 2021, the legal limit of 30 mourners at funerals in England will be removed.

The number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.

Venue Maximum number of attendees
Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham
Hampden Chapel
37
Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham
Milton Chapel
60
Bierton Crematorium, Aylesbury 50

Due to additional risk of infection (even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are worn), we cannot currently permit:

  • singing
  • chanting requiring raised voices
  • playing of instruments

All those attending must follow the government guidance on staying alert and safe.

If you're clinically vulnerable and wish to attend a funeral or burial service, make your funeral director aware of this so that we can assist with your requirements.

People who are symptomatic should not attend

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend a funeral.

The symptoms include:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

You should immediately self-isolate, follow the stay at home guidance, and request a test online, or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.

If you're required to self-isolate

You should not attend a funeral if:

  • you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • are the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

It is a legal offence for a person who is required to self-isolate to attend a funeral under any circumstances other than the funeral of a close family member. Even if you are a close family member of the deceased, we strongly recommend that you attend remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread to other mourners.

You could consider postponing the service until you are well enough to attend safely.

Live streaming

We are currently offering free of charge live streaming of services at both the Bierton and Chilterns Crematoria for those who are unable to attend.

This is by arrangement with your funeral director.

Attending a funeral if you're self-isolating

If after careful consideration of the risk you choose to attend a funeral in person then you must follow the government guidance and:

  • advise your funeral director/organiser and other mourners that you are in self-isolation
  • do not attend at the same time as another mourner who may be clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable
  • maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others at all times

You'll also need to practise strict hand and respiratory hygiene by:

  • wearing a surgical-grade Type IIR face mask or higher grade, properly fitting to minimise any risk of viral transmission from yourself to others (if a respirator mask is used, for example N95, this should be non-valved)
  • washing your hands more often than usual with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitiser
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • covering your coughs or sneezes

Any mourner who comes into close contact with you during the ceremony (for example, to console or support you) may then be required to self-isolate. Other mourners need to be aware of this prior to attending.

NHS Test and Trace

We keep records of those who arrange a funeral or burial service at our cemeteries and crematoria and will provide this information to the NHS Test and Trace service if requested to do so.

If your information is passed to the NHS Test and Trace service, you'll may be asked to provide the details of attendees at the funeral or burial service in order to assist with contact tracing. You should keep a list of the people who attend to help with this process.