It can be difficult knowing where to go when you lose a loved one at the best of times. Despite the removal of restrictions (Stage 4) on social gatherings there is still the possibility of individual businesses or premises, whether crematoria, churches or other venues requesting that face coverings be worn, or that care is taken to observe any capacity limits on numbers attending and so, here we look at what you should expect from us.
What You Can Expect From Us
Meeting your expectations and alleviating your concerns is our number one priority. Screens will remain in our limousines, and in our arrangement rooms. Although our offices are open again for face-to-face arrangement interviews feel free to wear a face covering if you feel safer, and ask us to do the same if you wish. We will continue to offer a ‘virtual’ arrangement using telephone, video calling and electronic document signing if you would prefer. Remember all our prices and coffins etc, are published on our website www.welhamjones.co.uk
For face-to-face meeting, we would ask you to please make an appointment; this will avoid unnecessary risk. Sanitation will be offered and you should .
As far as we know, the Coronavirus Special Measures Bill 2020 is still in force. As a result, you will request the Medical Certificate Cause of Death (MCCD) from the hospital bereavement office or GP surgery as usual, but it will be emailed directly to the registrar. Occasionally it may be sent to us along with any hospital release notes allowing us to take your loved on into our care. Registration, whether via the library service in Bexley & Kent, the Registration Service in south east London (Bromley and Southwark), the Medway towns and Sussex, will now be conducted too by telephone. You will likely have to make an appointment on their usual numbers requesting a call back on an agreed date and time. Certified copies for probate will be emailed and, to speed the process up, the authority to cremate or bury your loved one, the Cremation Form 9 or ‘green,’ electronically to either your nominated funeral director and/or the chosen cemetery or crematorium.
For cremation the legislation has had the most impact. Under the current special measures any doctor, if requested by the doctor who looked after your loved one and who may be unavailable due to isolation, can issue the MCCD and complete the Cremation Form 4. There is no confirmatory Cremation Form 5, the need for which is continues to be suspended, although the Medical Referee does still have the final say in completing the Cremation From 10.
We will endeavour to continue to have all documents signed and served, wherever possible, electronically.
Types of Funeral Services now Available
All restrictions are now lifted on the types of service for cremations, burials, interment of cremated remains and stone setting.
As far as we are aware the use of webcasts will continue to be made available by crematoria and churches.
Some service celebrants and clergy may still prefer telephone conversations in preparing the funeral service for your loved ones and will gain your approval by email.
The Funeral of a Coronavirus Victim
As the virus and its effects have been tempered somewhat, and the use of PPE shown to be effective more normal funerals are available for its victims. This is subject, of course, to common sense and self-isolation for those who have come into contact.
Viewing the deceased
Welham Jones’ chapels and viewing rooms remain open and your loved one can be dressed in their own clothes.
Our limousines have been fitted with hygienic screens, which will remain in place
Reception venues are again open, and we will be pleased to assist you in planning a receptions and dropping you there after the funeral service if using our limousine service.
Family members may once again act as pall bearers to carry the coffin but please wear a face covering if you wish and ask us to do so too if you would feel safer.
We continue to prefer donations in lieu of flowers to be made on-line, or by cheque to our office, please. The Funeral Director will accept cheques on the day but would prefer not to take cash.
Having weathered the worse of the current pandemic we are keen not to return to restrictions of any kind. Nonetheless we will all have to learn to live with COVID-19 and should continue to be aware of its risk, taking personal care for our safety and that of those we meet.
Simon Welham & all the team at Welham Jones