COVID – 19 UPDATE
We understand that this is an anxious time for everybody, all the more so when you are bereaved and trying to arrange a funeral for your loved one. We were therefore wanting to let you know the current situation and how this may affect you.
Our offices will remain open (9.00am – 4.00pm, Monday – Friday where possible). During this period of heightened concern for everyone’s health and safety however, we have taken the decision to only offer remote arrangements (telephone/video call). These appointments must be made by prior arrangement please. In the same way, this also applies to pre-paid plans. This not only assists with protecting you, but also our staff.
Below, we have listed the current measures that both of our local Crematoriums, Haycombe and West Wiltshire, Semington have implemented to assist in keeping everyone safe and preventing the further spread of this virus where possible.
PROVISION OF HYMN BOOKS
The decision has been taken to temporarily remove all hymn books from Crematorium Chapels. This has been done to help reduce the risk of virus transmission between individuals attending different services during the day.
In order to limit contact and proximity, and therefore to protect both Crematorium teams and Funeral Directors, the Crematorium are still encouraging Funeral Directors for all services to make use of wheeled biers to bring coffins into the Chapel, rather than carrying. However, if family members are wishing to act as Pall Bearers, then this is fine. Just let your arranger know at the time of your arrangement.
ATTENDANCE OF MOURNERS WHO ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19 OR ARE SELF-ISOLATING
It is absolutely crucial that we protect Crematorium staff, Funeral Directors staff, and members of the public from undue risk. Under no circumstances will the Crematorium allow anyone who is infected with COVID-19, or who is self- isolating, to visit their premises.
ATTENDANCE OF SERVICES GENERALLY
Information on numbers of mourners who can attend a funeral service can be given on request. Sensible measures should be taken to discourage wider circles of friends from attending however.
RECORDING OF SERVICES
Following government advice, individuals who are at risk of contracting coronavirus should avoid attending public gatherings.
Live webcasts may be available, this would need to be confirmed with the individual Crematoria site on enquiry. However, it is possible to record the service for families that are unable to attend to view after the service. Rather than taking the form of a DVD, this will be sent to you as a downloadable file. This will incur an additional cost.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a statement as have the Catholic Bishops Conference of England Wales indicating that funerals with Church services can take place at the moment but with a smaller attendance than normal. Exact attendance numbers can be given upon request. Wiltshire Council Cemetery Chapels are now open again but in the same way, can only accommodate a small number of mourners. Alternatives for potential consideration are to hold a graveside service in a churchyard or cemetery if burial or a small service at a Crematorium if Cremation and then arranging a Memorial or Thanksgiving Service at a later date.
-Please use the facilities at any funeral service location (where available) to wash your hands with soap and water – before and after services. Alternatively, please use the hand sanitiser provided.
-Please catch coughs and sneezes in disposable tissues or on your sleeve (not your hands), and then discard the tissue (and wash/sanitise your hands).
-Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
-Maintain a sensible (perhaps up to 2 metres) clearance area between others, and avoid social gestures such as shaking hands, kissing and hugging.
We will endeavour to keep you up to date of any changes as and when they occur.
If we are already arranging a funeral for your loved one, please be assured of the best of our attention in letting you know of any changes or the implementation of any governmental measures that may affect the service we have arranged.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Take care and stay safe.
With best wishes,
Elizabeth Snell & Family Ltd.