Arranging a funeral during the pandemic
Helping you to say goodbye in difficult times
There has never been a more difficult time to say your last goodbyes to your loved one in a meaningful way. We will do all we can within the current guidelines to help. Your loved one will be cared for by us with the utmost dignity and respect and we will be there to guide you every step of the way, doing our best to make a hard time a little bit easier.
As well as not being able to plan a large gathering of family and friends, we understand that you may be facing financial difficulty during these uncertain times. In light of this, we have reduced our professional fees until the time comes when we can provide our full range of services. Please contact us for our current prices.
Bringing your loved one into our care
If your loved one died in hospital, care home or hospice, we will liaise directly with them to arrange bringing your loved one into our care. We will let you know as soon as they are safely resting with us.
If your loved one has died at home, we will need to ask you if they or if anyone in your household may have had the coronavirus or any of its symptoms. This is so we can take the necessary precautions to protect our staff. If this is not the case, our staff will wear the appropriate equipment to protect you and your household.
Your loved one can rest at either of our funeral homes.
Registering a death
The way that a death is now registered has completely changed. Registration will now take place over the phone and all documents will be posted or emailed. Please see our guide to how our local registry offices are currently operating, for the information and documents that you will need to have by you.
When you have registered, you will be able to use the Tell Us Once service that lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go. The registrar will give you the details you need to use this service.
You may also wish to stop unwanted direct mail arriving for your loved one. The Bereavement Register provides a free service to help you do this.
Arranging the funeral
We are still happy for you to visit us in person at Newton Abbot by appointment, if you and your household is not self-isolating due to showing symptoms of the virus. We ask that a distance of two meters is maintained between us and ask that you observe hand hygiene when you enter our premises. Alternatively, if you are self-isolating, or if you do not wish to take the risk of visiting us, we can make arrangements over the telephone, via email or video conferencing.
Our Ashburton office is closed to visitors for now due to the requirement for social distancing. The Ashburton Chapel of Rest, however, is available for you to spend time with your loved one.
Attendances at all funeral services are limited at the moment so you may like to have a service at a later date when all your friends and family can attend. For your family and friends who won't be able to attend the funeral service, we have put together a few ideas and suggestions.
A direct cremation is a cremation without a ceremony or funeral service. You can visit to pay your last respects, at our discretion, if you feel you want to (unless you are affected by Covid-19), before your loved one is taken to the crematorium of our choosing. The ashes will be returned to you afterwards, for you to keep or scatter as you wish.
Attended Cremation Services
Limited attended services can still take place at Exeter, Torquay and East Devon Crematoriums. Attendees are restricted to up to 20 mourners in St Peter's Chapel, Exeter Crematorium and 10 immediate family members in St Paul's Chapel, Exeter, and East Devon Crematorium. Torquay Crematorium will now welcome 16 immediate family members. At all the crematoriums, social distancing must be maintained. If you are affected by Covid-19, self-isolating, or are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you must not go to the crematorium. Exeter and Torquay crematoriums are offering webcasting at a reduced rate so those who can not attend can follow the service. East Devon Crematorium is offering this service for free.
You can still have a minister or celebrant to lead the service, you can choose pieces of music and have orders of service printed.
Most places of worship are closed for services, but ministers will provide a service at a crematorium and graveside burial services can go ahead.
Graveside services can proceed with the number of attendees to be decided by the burial authority. All mourners are asked to respect social distancing.