The main advice from the last couple of weeks is still relevant. We are continuing to make sure we have the latest information and are taking the right precautions.
We have taken as many measures as practical to ensure our current working practices are as hygienic as possible: keeping a minimum of staff in the office and everyone else working from home, we are regularly cleaning down all surfaces in the office, chapel of rest and mortuary and have hand-sanitizer and hand washing facilities available for frequent use.
If you are concerned about anything related to COVID-19 or the service we offer, please contact us by telephone on (01453) 54 27 54 or email.
We will continue to do our job as respectfully as possible but we need to take a few extra precautions during this time, even if the person's death was not caused by COVID-19. We want to protect you from our presence in your home. We will take a few extra precautions while we are in your home:
In this way we hope to protect you and also our staff.
We will prefer to discuss your funeral requirements with you over the phone, or via video-call or even email. These options may not suit everyone and so we will make special arrangements in these cases, but again these will be designed to be as safe as possible for both you and our staff.
Ministers and celebrants will be happy to speak to you, again, over the phone or video-call.
Registration of the death can now be done over the phone so there is no need to attend the Register Office. The Certifying Doctor can email the Medical Cause of Detah Certificate to the Registrar and paperwork will be emailed to the Funeral Director and certificates posted to you.
The "second doctor" normally required for cremation is no longer needed. The first doctor can email their paperwork to the Funeral Director.
The applciation for cremation can now be emailed to customers and back to the Funeral Director if required.
It is still the case that funeral services may only be attended by the immediate family.
Currently Gloucester Crematorium will allow 5 people to attend and Westerleigh Crematorium will allow 10.
This could come as quite a shock when we lose someone close to us and we are familiar with the ways in which we say goodbye to loved ones and are told that we cannot do this anymore.
You may be worried that you or a member of your family may already have the virus and be self-isolating. at this current time, it would be possible to delay the funeral to allow 14 days to pass and you may be able to parttake again.
Despite the limitations placed on the funeral service there are many different ways to be creative:
All of the local crematoria (Gloucester, Westerleigh, Cheltenham, Bath) have facilities to show the service being conducted on a computer via the Internet. During these times this service is being offered at cost and so will only cost around £30. The cost of the cremation is also likely to be cheaper if no-one is allowed to attend.
It might be possible for the minister/celebrant to take a service which you can see from the comfort of your own home.
At this time, due to the increase in demand for this facility, the companies that provide these services cannot guarantee that the webcast will be available but they assure us that they are doing all they can to minimise any disruption.
We can publish a written, "paper" funeral service on our website that has been created by a minister/celebrant. We can include photos and music and people can be invited to read the service either at a specific time or at a later date.
This is suitable for a burial, or if a webcast is not available or in addition to a live broadcast.
The above is an example but we can tailor this to your own individual requirement.
GET IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS
Hearing from friends and relatives is an important part of funerals and missing out on the gathering is a distinct disadvantage. It is therefore important to make use of the technology we have to keep in touch with family and friends. You can arrange a group call, if you have these facilities, or speak to people individually.
We can help publish the ways in which you would like to be contacted and will try and will try and encourage the general public to be active in contacting people in the absence of a funeral service.
A funeral is where we gather to share our love for someone we have lost and those who are grieving. A place to make that love public and for some a place to pray for the deceased, the mourners and bereaved. WE CAN STILL DO THIS FOR THOSE WE HAVE LOST. We can still tell the world we loved them, we just need to be creative.
Here are some ideas of what you can do if you would have attended a funeral which is no longer able to happen. We would love to hear more of you ideas which you can share with us by email, Facebook, or any other means you can think of.
When the threat of Corona Virus has diminished we will be offering memorial services to those that would like them, either religious or non-religious. We will also be providing a special non-religious memorial service in Cam Memorial Hall to remember all those who have died during these times and whose families and friends have not been able to attend a service. More details about this will follow nearer the time. Every year on All Souls Day on 1st November, the Church of England churches hold a service to remember all those that have died during the year. I sincerely hope that the situation is not as bad by this time and this will be another opportunity to remember people and there may be other memorial services too, specific to Coronavirus.