Arranging a cremation

Many families know little or nothing about arranging a cremation, having been touched by a death for the first time, they are not clear on the procedure to follow. It is hoped the following information will help to widen the choice for bereaved families.

There are several arrangements that need to be made and there are statutory forms and non-statutory forms to be completed. The responsibility for these arrangements usually falls to the executor of the deceased person or a near relative who has reached the age of 16. Here "near relative" means:

  • Widow
  • Widower
  • Surviving Civil Partner
  • Child of the deceased
  • Any other relative usually residing with the deceased person or a parent of a still born child

You may wish to instruct a professional funeral director to carry out these arrangements for you.

The funeral director will discuss the practical arrangements for collection of the body with the family and obtain the necessary medical certificates. 

The death will need to be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Information will be provided by the funeral director to assist in completing this duty.

If you prefer, a cremation can be arranged without the services of a funeral director. The Institute of Cemetery and Cremation Management (ICCM) Charter for the Bereaved will provide advice for anyone arranging a funeral without a funeral director.

Statutory forms

The following statutory forms are legally required for the cremation to take place:

Cremation 1 - This form is completed by the person arranging the funeral and will provide information of the deceased's address and the applicant for cremation.

Cremation 4 - This form is completed by the medical professional attending the deceased and will provide information as to the cause, date, time and place of death.

Cremation 5 - This form is completed by an independent doctor to the doctor who completes the cremation 4 form and verifies the cause of death.

Cremation 6 - This form is completed by H.M. Coroner and replaces the cremation 4 and 5 forms. This is issued when the death is unexpected or unexplained.

Certificate of registration (The Green) - This form is issued by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to confirms that the death has been registered. This form is not required if H.M. Coroner has issued a cremation 6 form.

Non-statutory forms

Cremation information form - This form provides information on the service required and the arrangements for the collection of cremated remains.

Music request form - This form provides information on the music required for the service.

The cremation service

Service times

Monday to Saturday

  • 30 minute services are: 9.00am, 9.30 am, 10.00am, 3.30pm and 4.00pm (The 4.00pm service is not available on a Friday)
  • 45 minute services are:  11.00am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm, 2.00pm and 2.45pm
  • Saturday -  10.00am, 10.45am, 11.30am and 12.15pm

Music

We recognise that music is a very important part of the funeral service. 

We use the Wesley Media system for our music. Any commercially recorded piece of music can be played on the system.

Wesley Media can also edit any recorded piece of music, for example if you would like the chorus only playing this can be arranged. You can view the library to see what is available.  

A piece of music can be played on entry to the chapel, during the service for a time of reflection and on leaving the chapel.

Service arrangements

The deceased's family can make any service arrangements they feel appropriate.

A full religious service can be conducted at the crematorium in the time allocated or alternatively, a service may take place at a separate place of worship followed by a brief committal service at the crematorium.

Families can arrange for their own minister to take the service or they can ask the funeral director to instruct a suitable minister on their behalf.

Secular services can be conducted at the crematorium or, if required, no ceremony at all.

The service

The mourners will gather close to the entrance or in the waiting area a few minutes prior to the appointed time of the funeral service. 

When the principle mourners are ready to proceed, the coffin will be conveyed into the chapel by the bearers. The coffin will be placed on the catafalque at the top of the chapel and mourners will be directed to their seats, after which the service will proceed.

At the moment during the service when the committal of the body takes place the coffin may be obscured from view by the curtains closing. The curtains can remain open if this is preferred.

At the end of the service the mourners leave the chapel and may view the floral tributes.

After the service

Carleton Crematorium is a member of the Federation of British Cremation Authorities and is required to operate the service strictly in accordance with the Code of Conduct of Cremation Practice. This code provides the only ethical standard of cremation practice in Great Britain, a copy is available on the Federation of British Cremation Authorities website.

The coffin is withdrawn into the receiving room where the name plate and identity card is carefully checked by the crematorium staff to ensure the correct identity. An identity card will accompany the coffin and resultant remains until their final dispersal or removal from the crematorium.

The cremation usually commences shortly after the service. A cremator can physically only accept one coffin at a time, the only exception to this would be with special permission for a mother and baby or twin children to be cremated together.

All remains are removed from the cremator before it can be used again. Cremated remains are only removed from the cremator when the cremation is complete.

The remains are withdrawn to a cooling area and finally into a special container where the process of removing ferrous metals will take place.

The residue is reduced to a fine consistency suitable for storage and eventual dispersal. The remains are enclosed in a suitable and accurately identified container to await dispersal or collection.

Recycling metals

Following cremation, there may be residual metal items such as orthopaedic implants. The crematorium participates in the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management's national scheme, which collects such metal items periodically.

Any surplus money is donated to death-related charities, such as the Trinity Hospice, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK or other local charities.

Collection of cremated remains

Cremated remains will usually be ready for collection the next working day following the cremation.

The applicant for cremation, a person nominated by the applicant for cremation or a nominated funeral director can collect the cremated remains.

Photographic identification and proof of address will be required at the time of collection to confirm that the cremated remains are being released to the correct person.

A Certificate of Cremation will be released with the cremated remains. This is a legal document which confirms the name of the deceased, the date of the cremation and where the cremation took place.

This certificate must remain with the cremated remains at all times until the final dispersal.

Disposal of cremated remains

The law on the dispersal of cremated remains is fairly relaxed in the U.K. If you decide to dispose of the cremated remains by scattering them in a place significant to the deceased or family it is important to get permission of the land owner, trust of parks and reserves or from local councils for parks, beaches and playing fields as scattering of cremated remains can contravene the provision of Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 in terms of water and air pollution.

The decision about disposal of cremated remains will need to be discussed with the relatives, or person arranging the cremation at the time of arranging the service. If you are undecided, do not authorise the disposal as, once the remains have been disposed of, it may mean they can not be retrieved.

The memorial rose garden at Carleton Cemetery and Crematorium consists of special areas, set aside for the disposal of cremated remains. They are used continually for this purpose and therefore it is not possible to mark or identify the exact location of individual cremated remains.

The gardens are arranged to provide a focal point for visitors and include a variety of memorial facilities.

If you require any further information or guidance please contact the bereavement service on 01253 882541.