Updated 08/09/2020 16:00


The Crematorium Gardens and the Remembrance Room will be open to visitors from 09.00am to 4.30pm. From 8th August visitors are required to wear face coverings when in the Crematorium building.  At the weekends the waiting rooms, toilets and chapel will be closed.  We have had problems with people using the Crematorium grounds for leisure activities and exercise but hopefully this will not continue.

The advice from the government is that the COVID virus can last on plastic and metal for up to 72 hours, therefore i you use a vase please use the sanitiser before using the tap or the vase.  There is also a sanitiser on the online book of remembrance cabinet, please use the sanitiser before and after touching the screen.

You are welcome to leave written cards, please do not leave personal items such as flower pots, candles, balloons etc.  They will be removed and not kept which can cause upset so please do ot bring them.  We hope that you find the crematorium peaceful and you are able to have quiet reflection to remember your loved one/s.  We are trying with the information we have, to keep you, and our staff as safe as possible.


The government guidance aims to balance the needs of the bereaved to mourn appropriately, whilst minimising the spread of COVID-19 infection.  The guidance on funerals can be found here

On the 9th July 2020 the government updated guidance for funerals, it is a requirement that mourners can attend so that a safe distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained between individuals. At Mortlake Crematorium this means 16 people can attend with a safe distance of 2 metres in the chapel.

The actions required are:

  • ensuring venue capacity and attendance numbers allow social distancing (at least 2 metres or 3 steps) to be maintained between individuals.
  • a modest number of close friends and family of the deceased can attend
  • from 8th August 2020 visitors must wear face masks in the crematorium building
  • mourners who are self-isolating due to someone in their household or support bubble being unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 or as advised by NHS Test and trace, but are not symptomatic themselves, should be facilitated to attend the funeral in person should they wish to do so, with processes put in place to minimise the risks of transmissions
  • mourners who are clinically vulnerable should also be facilitated to attend, with processes put in place to minimise the risk of transmission.
  • any mourner who has COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend the funeral as they pose a risk to others; remote participation should be considered
  • mourners who have travelled to England from countries that are not exempt from the requirement to self-isolate (in the last 14 days) may attend the funeral
  • mourners should also follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering.

Funeral Services from 10.00 am run every 40 minutes, therefore the actual service will be approximately 30 minutes. The 9.00 and 9.30 service is a 20 minutes service time.  Double service times are also available.  This allows time for people to enter and leave the chapel ensuring social distance is maintained.  It also allows time Crematorium staff to clean the chapel in between each service.   Length of service times may have to be decreased at short notice if there is another wave of excess deaths.

Funeral Services are still individual and can be personalised in the following way:

  • Your choice of music to listen to
  • Visual tributes and photos on our screens
  • Readings, poems and prayers
  • Eulogy, personal tributes

The family member arranging a funeral can order a webcast of the service via their funeral director, (the fee is £60 for this service) which helps those who are self-isolating, can’t travel, ill or are in a high risk group.  The webcast facility is available to be watched at the time the funeral is taking place and will be available to watch for up to 7 days after the service.

Another suggestion for family members and friends to be part of the service is to let them know the music, readings that they have chosen and they can play this at home, maybe light a candle and remember their relative/friend when they are able to.

The guidance for funerals has been updated by Central Government (full link at the bottom). The guidance now includes additional information for communities managing a death.

During this unprecedented period, many lives have sadly be lost. To ensure organisations managing funerals are able to cope with the increased number of deaths, it is important that people do not delay funerals. We understand how difficult this will be for the families and friends of lost loved ones, however the current guidance will be in place for the foreseeable future for public safety reasons.  The Government have this information for bereaved people https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880807/Bereavement-Leaflet-digital.pdf

Those organising a funeral should adhere to the following:

  • Only 16 mourners can attend so that a safe distance of at least 2 metre + (3 steps) can be maintained between individuals
  • At no point should mourners mix closer than 2 metre apart from each other if from different households
  • From the 8th August face coverings must be worn
  • Mourners should follow the advice on social distancing when travelling to and from the funeral gathering
  • Mourners should avoid any direct face-to-face or physical contact, for example, hugging each other unless they are part of the same household, that is, they have already been living in the same house as each other
  • Mourners in attendance, should follow the general advice on hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection
  • Activities such as singing, chanting, requiring raised voices or playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided. This is because these activities pose a possible additional risk of infection even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used
  • Before and after each service, we will clean and disinfect the area in which the service has taken place, as well as frequently touched objects and surfaces using cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people
  • In many situations the household members of the deceased person will be the next of kin; they may be having to self-isolate in line with household guidance. Where the funeral is scheduled to take place before the period of household isolation has been completed (14 days from the first case in that household), there should be no mixing between mourners who are self-isolating and those who are not
  • Mourners who are symptomatic should not attend in any circumstance
  • Stay in your car if you have driven until it is time to go into the chapel, keep your social distance in all areas of the crematorium, including the chapel and do not gather in the waiting room.
  • Only Mortlake Crematorium staff and one other person (Minister/Celebrant/FD) can go into the vestry
  • Only Mortlake Crematorium staff to touch chapel door handles
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not leave used tissues, or any personal items in the chapel
  • If using the loos please wash your hands as recommended
  • No more than 1 person to witness the start of cremation (if this can be accommodated) – the witness start of cremation can be viewed by others from the screen in the chapel.
  • Curtains will be closed at the end of the service – people can blow kisses or wave, but personal items cannot be placed on the coffin once in our chapel.
  • The coffin can be carried by a maximum of four bearers; either four from the same household, or pairs of two from two households (2 at the front from one household and 2 a the back from another household)
  • A tribute on the coffin, a  spray is ideal if you would like it cremated with the person – (plastic bases and oasis cannot be cremated, if you have other flowers in our floral courts, please take them home with you)
  • Coffins must be sealed and cannot be opened
  • All bodies must be in sealed coffin (no shrouds allowed)

We hope these measures help to keep our staff, you and the wider community safe.

In these very difficult times it is important that bereaved people get help – please go the the Good Grief Trust for further information  Link to the Good Grief Trust

Our Board is following The guidance on funerals can be found here





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