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 

Please note: due to COVID 19 some of the arrangements below have been amended temporarily. Your funeral director will advise you of the current requirements. 

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.

The cremation service

Service attendance advice due to COVID 19 restrictions

To help limit the spread of Covid - 19, the amount of people allowed in the crematorium, chapel or at graveside remains limited.

Who can attend?

The government advises It is advised only a modest number of family and friends of the deceased should travel to and attend the funeral.

Overnight stays away from the home are also permitted, though it is advised this should only be with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household (in which case social distancing should be maintained).

Social distancing for mourners

Social distancing measures reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and include:

  • Ensuring at least 2 m (3 steps) away from others
  • Following the guidance on hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection:
    • Washing one’s hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing one’s nose, or after being in public areas
    • When coughing or sneezing, cover the mouth and nose with a tissue and throw the tissue away immediately, or in the absence of a tissue, use the crook of one’s elbow (not hands) to cough or sneeze into. Then wash both hands or use hand sanitiser
    • Face coverings must be worn in indoor places of worship, crematoria and burial ground chapels unless exempt for health, disability or other reasons. Face coverings should also be worn in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
    • There remains an increased risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) where families and communities come together following the death of a loved one, from any cause. While recognising the importance of these rituals and gatherings, it is strongly advised, in order to stay safe, that numbers of mourners in physical attendance are kept to a modest number.

This number is dependant on the size of the chapel, but should not exceed 18 people at Carleton Crematorium.

Other family members or mourners who wish to pay their respects in the cemetery grounds as the cortege arrives, should maintain social distancing of 2m at all times.

Your funeral director will be able to offer more information about the service.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (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 due to the risk that they pose to others; remote participation should be considered, for example, via live streaming.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate at home for at least 10 days.

We will continue to update this guidance in line with any new government advice and appreciate your co-operation at this time.

Service times

Monday to Saturday

  • 30 minute services are: 8.30, 9.00am, 9.30 am, 10.00am, 3.30pm and 4.00pm
  • 45 minute services are:  11.00am, 11.45am, 12.30pm, 1.15pm, 2.00pm and 2.45pm
  • Saturday -  10am, 11am, 12.00 and 1pm


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.

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

Your funeral director will organise your music choice prior to the service. 

Service arrangements

The deceased's family can make any service arrangements they feel appropriate and their are a number of choices available.

A full religious or non religious service can be conducted at the crematorium in the time allocated. 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 officiant to take the service or they can ask the funeral director to instruct a suitable officiant on their behalf.

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 displayed in the Flower Shelter opposite the exit to the chapel.

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 all metal items periodically for recycling.

All surplus money is donated to death related charities. Our recipients have included Trinity Hospice, SANDS, Doherty's Destiny, Hug in a Bag, Brian House, The Miscarriage Association and North West Blood Bikers. Each charity has received funds ranging between £2000 and £10,000. 

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 and Woodland Are North within Carleton Cemetery and Crematorium have areas set aside for the disposal of cremated remains.

The areas 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 or email