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Delivering Bereavement Services in relation to the Coronavirus


Up to 20 mourners now allowed at Dukinfield Crematorium

UP to 20 mourners can attend funerals at Dukinfield Crematorium from 8 July while up to 30 people can attend burials.
Following the new lockdown announced on 4 January 2021,  there are very minor changes to the restrictions around Bereavement.  The position is still 30 mourners maximum allowed to attend a burial and still only 20 mourners maximum can attend Dukinfield Crematorium due to the size of the chapel.  This differs at each crematoria due to the chapel size factor. 
The only change announced is that a maximum of  6 people only  can attend a scattering or burial of cremated remains ceremony or any gathering in relation to a memorial blessing etc.  Services within the Crematorium Chapel continue to be recorded free of charge but it is the responsibility of the family/applicant for the funeral, to inform their funeral director before the funeral should they require a copy.
The latest guidance on attending funerals still states that numbers should kept “as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 meters (6ft) can be maintained between individuals”. Alongside the funeral director and chapel attendant, only the following people should attend services:
  • Members of the deceased person’s household
  • Close family members
  • or if the above are unable to attend, close friends
  • attendance of a celebrant/minister of choice, should the family request this

People self-isolating, vulnerable or showing symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend a funeral service.
All people invited to attend a service in the chapel may consider wearing face coverings as an additional precaution.
Tameside Council will continue to record every service free of charge to enable families who cannot attend to see the service (this needs to be arranged via the funeral director).
A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “We understand this is a very difficult time for bereaved families and they have our full sympathy, we appreciate it is upsetting when not everyone who wants to attend a funeral service can do so within the allocated numbers. However safety has to remain a priority for all involved.
“The decision to restrict mourners to 20 is to support the on-going infection control across Tameside and Greater Manchester and to ensure we do not break the new legislation of having over 30 people on site (internally and externally), which is classed as an illegal gathering under the Government’s COVID regulations.
“We hope the new measures – which actually double the number of mourners allowed within the crematorium chapel at Dukinfield - will protect the health and wellbeing of bereaved families as well as staff, while supporting the attendance of an increased number of mourners.”  
The following restrictions will be in place from 8 July 2020:


  • Following church guidance, singing will be prohibited within the Crematorium Chapel
  • Floral tributes can be brought in but must be taken away at the end of the service by the Funeral Director or family as agreed.
  • Seats will be identified as to where people should sit and funeral directors will instruct the mourners to use these seats to maintain a safe social distance.
  • Additional stringent cleaning processes are in place at the chapel and we will continue to clean between services.
  • Musicians invited to play during the service e.g. pipers, will need to stay outside.
  • Curtains are to be closed at the committal to avoid mourners touching the coffin and any cross contamination
  • Only the Minister, celebrant etc. should stand at the lectern.  However, if a family member gives a personal tribute they must not stand any closer than 2m to the minister/celebrant at the lectern. Wipes will be provided to clean the lectern should this be necessary.
  • Hand sanitizers are provided at the entrance and exit of the chapel
  • Mourners will enter and exit the chapel following the one way system, as per normal, within the chapel.
  • Service sheets must be removed at the conclusion of the service by the individual mourners or the funeral director
  • Donations boxes must not be used whatsoever inside or outside the chapel.
  • All cremated remains are to be collected by the funeral director unless families have asked for them to be scattered at Dukinfield with no family in attendance
  • Entry to the office remains restricted to funeral directors only and this is via the side entrance where a new social distancing door has been constructed for cremated remains to be handed over safely.


The guidance being issued for funerals also includes burial services where the number attending must not exceed 30 and must maintain social distancing. All burial services remain ‘direct to grave’.

The crematorium chapel will still only be available for cremations and not burial

Denton and Droylsden Cemetery chapels still remained closed for services although many churches are now permitting funeral services to take place in their churches prior to burial.

There are safety issues for the officiants and staff where they have found themselves being surrounded in the midst of an ever increasing gathering of mourners as they move closer to listen to the service. A number of dioceses have reported ministers feeling unsafe at the graveside due to the number of people present and therefore 30 mourners must be adhered to otherwise the service may have to be postponed.

Sandboxes will not be available at the graveside to be passed around amongst mourners.

Donation boxes must not be used at the graveside.

Remembrance Room reopens with safety measures in place

The Dukinfield Crematorium Book of Remembrance Room has reopened with new measures in place to help protect visitors and staff.
The room, which holds the Book of Remembrance and is located next to the chapel, will open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm but will be closed at weekends and on bank holidays.
Visitors are asked to not enter the room if they have Covid-19 symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with symptoms in the last 14 days.
They should also wait until the room is clear of any other visitors before entering. Only members of the same household may enter at the same time.
Visitors must sanitise their hands before entering and no cards or any other items of memorabilia may be left in the lodge - with the exception of cut flowers, which can only be placed in the green vases provided.
The electronic book of remembrance will not be available on the lodge, however entries in the book can be viewed online any time at
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