Mourners in Calderdale will soon be able to enter the chapel at Park Wood Crematorium once more to attend the funeral service of a loved one.
Strict restrictions have been in place at funeral services throughout the lockdown to ensure social distancing is maintained to protect mourners, Bereavement Service colleagues and funeral directors as much as possible from the coronavirus.
Currently up to 10 mourners may accompany the hearse to the door of the crematorium where they can hear a short service by a minister/celebrant and then say their final goodbyes.
As the demand for funeral services is now reducing the Council has announced that from today, any new bookings will allow up to ten mourners to enter the crematorium chapel to attend a funeral service.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press said:
“During the coronavirus pandemic our priority is to prevent the spread of this terrible virus and to protect our communities and this has meant that we have had to make some very difficult decisions.
“We understand how hard it has been for people who have lost a loved one at this time and who have been unable to attend a traditional funeral service to say a final goodbye.
“It was always our intention to reopen the chapel as soon as possible and as we are starting to see a reduction in the number of funeral services requested, we are now in a position to ensure that we can thoroughly clean between services without affecting our ability to undertake the required number of cremations each day.
“This means that we are now able to allow mourners back into the chapel to attend a service, although we must always follow the guidance on social distancing to reduce the risk of infection. I hope that this will bring some comfort to grieving families and friends.”
The chapel will be adapted so that those attending the funeral are able to observe social distancing safely and mourners will be asked to sit at least 2 metres apart.
Hand sanitizing stations will be provided at the entrance and exit and a one-way system will be used inside the chapel to help minimise the area which needs to be thoroughly cleaned between services.
Those unable to attend the funeral service can watch on the free webcasting service.
The cremation service fee has been reduced to reflect that only limited numbers will be able to attend the chapel service.
Graveside burial services will continue to go ahead, with a maximum of ten mourners. This will allow Bereavement Service staff to ensure that social distancing during the burial is strictly observed throughout the open air ceremony.
Any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the Government guidelines to stay at home and should not attend a funeral service.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:
The Council urges everyone in Calderdale to stay at home whenever possible. This is the single most important thing you can do to protect the NHS and care homes and save lives.
If you do need to leave home you should follow the Government guidance on Staying safe outside your home(external link). As well as social distancing, you can reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 by washing your hands(external link) with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it(external link)’ guidance.