Measures introduced to support bereaved families
Weekend services have been introduced at crematoriums in County Durham as part of efforts to ensure funerals are not impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
We have introduced the Saturday and Sunday services, along with additional weekday bookings, at Mountsett and Durham Crematoriums as part of our work with funeral directors and faith groups to support bereaved families at this difficult time.
Families are being asked to make use of these additional times so that we can manage services and avoid any disruption to them.
Weekend services are being offered at no additional cost to those which take place during the week and are in addition to a number of other measures we have introduced.
This includes removing our normal charge for providing a webcast to allow those not able to attend a ceremony to pay their respects. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the technology to provide live streaming.
Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Local Partnerships, said: "We understand these are difficult times for everyone but particularly for the bereaved. We hope that these measures will go some way towards supporting people in making funeral arrangements.
"In order that we are able to manage our funerals and crematoria at this time, we are asking families to work with funeral directors and our staff around the times of funerals so that we can minimise disruption to the service and any further distress to the bereaved."
Bishop Paul Butler, speaking for the Church of England Diocese of Durham, said: "This is a very challenging time for all involved in seeking to help bereaved families - funeral directors, clergy and celebrants from all traditions taking funeral services, and local authorities.
"We are all working together, and I encourage families to help, please, in this situation by not delaying making funeral arrangements but using all the available service times at crematoria, even if these would not have been your first choice. This is all part of managing a really difficult situation together, for the good of everyone."
For more information, visit Bereavement support.