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Bereavement support


Dealing with bereavement and grief is difficult at any time but is likely to be especially so during the outbreak of coronavirus and you may be unsure on what options are available to you.

You can find information on how to Register a deathArrange a funeral and options for Burials and Cremations on our web pages.

Bereavement support

There are a number of organisations who offer advice and support for dealing with bereavement and grief;

Icon for pdf Gov.uk: bereavement support information (PDF, 105.9kb)

Service change

As part of our steps to manage the impact of Coronavirus and following national guidance relating to coronavirus, we have made several changes to our bereavement services.

Registering a death

As all of our register offices are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, you are only be able to register a death through a telephone appointment.

Please call us on 03000 266 000 to arrange an appointment. 

Ordering a death certificate

While our register offices are closed, you can still order certificates online or by phone and they will be posted to you. We're not able to guarantee timescales at this time.

See Birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates to order your certificate online.

Changes to funeral and cremation services

If you are organising a funeral, please be aware of the arrangements currently in place.

  • The maximum number of people allowed to attend a funeral is 15 so that social distancing measures can be followed. Those attending should be members of the deceased's household, close family members or in their absence a close friend.
  • Alongside the funeral director, chapel attendant funeral staff, you may ask for a celebrant of your choice to attend.
  • We will provide web casts free of charge to allow family members to watch services provided that they are ordered with your funeral director 48 hours in advance of the service. A download link will be made available for anyone requesting a web cast, but this may take up to 3 weeks to arrive.

When attending funerals, we ask that you and those attending with you:

  • follow advice on social distancing during the service and when travelling to and from the funeral gathering
  • do not attend the funeral if you or they are unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus
  • avoid any direct face-to-face or physical contact, unless you have been living as part of the same household
  • follow national advice on hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection before and after the service

As well as following the above guidance, to reduce the risk of infection we ask that you:

  • advise other attendees if there is a clinically vulnerable person attending and to be respectful of the vulnerable person's need to avoid close contact at any point.
  • reiterate the need to stay at home if they are unwell
  • advise  people to travel to the venue via the safest route possible, preferably by car by themselves or with someone from their household.
  • ensure that people who are in a clinically vulnerable group do not attend the same ceremony as people who are in household isolation

Organising a funeral or cremation

At Durham Crematorium, more midweek and weekend bookings have been made available. Prices for a weekend cremation have been reduced to a standard rate.

At Mountsett crematorium, weekend bookings have been introduced with prices for a weekend cremation reduced to a standard rate. Services are twenty minutes long at Durham and 45 minutes long at Mountsett.

We understand that a loss of a loved one is difficult, but to ensure that we are able to manage our funerals and crematoria at this time, we ask that funerals and cremations are not unduly delayed.

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