Now that we have worked with the various new rules and regulations that have rapidly been brought about due to Covid, we have established what we can and can’t offer for a funeral service at this challenging time. We are caught between our responsibilities to follow Social Distancing guidelines to keep us and you and everyone else safe and our aspiration to give everyone a decent funeral and a proper send-off.
During this pandemic, this is what we suggest:
- When someone has passed away ‘phone us as soon as you can and tell us who you are and where you live, who has died, where they are now, where they lived, when they died and whether you wish to arrange for burial or cremation.
- We will give you advice regarding certification and registration and will arrange to call you back a short while later, after we have spoken to the hospital, coroner, Doctors and crematorium/cemetery offices on your behalf.
- We will call you back to make all the funeral arrangements over the ‘phone. We will either email or post to you the paperwork that needs to be signed.
- Although many people choose a simple coffin for cremation, we can still offer you a choice of a smart solid oak or a traditional woven willow coffin.
- Nearly all families want to visit their loved one in our chapel of rest and we think that is absolutely the right thing to do and very important for your own mental health. We are still able to offer this and all deceased persons will be handled, treated and prepared with the greatest of care and respect. A person who has died with Covid will be in a closed coffin, but in a private chapel where you can sit and reflect. Our chapels and premises are currently locked and out of bounds to anyone other than staff, so you will need to ‘phone us to make an appointment to visit.
- On the day of the funeral we will put the coffin on to our hearse as usual and come to your house or the deceased’s house to meet you and we can all set off together from there. Some families choose to meet us at the crematorium/cemetery but we think it is a little more personal if we come to your house first.
- We will have sufficient men to bear or wheel the coffin in to the chapel but you may help if you wish. Remember only 10 of you can come to the funeral service.
- Our Funeral Director will help and guide you through all stages and will attend the funeral with you to support you in all practical aspects.
Our usual fee for the service outlined above is £2,100.00. We are aware that many of our clients are currently furloughed on 80% pay, so we will only charge 80% until further notice, therefore our fee will be £1,680.00. Charges made by the crematorium, doctors and clergy are not included and are additional.
Please read our previous posts related to Covid.
We intend to do our best to help prevent the spread of Covid and will be following the instructions given by our Prime Minister last night, so to protect you from us and us from you, there are some changes to the way we are able to help and serve you over the coming weeks. We pride ourselves on our personal service and it will be hard for us as well as for you to restrict our interaction with you, but hopefully it won’t be for long. Most of this is common sense and is for the benefit of you, us and everyone, we thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding ..
- We cannot supply limousines but we feel it will still be nice for the hearse to come to your family home and for the funeral to set off from there.
- We are still able to prepare your loved one for viewing in a private chapel but must insist that only 1 or 2 of you come to visit.
- We are not able to come to your house to make funeral arrangements but you may come here, 2 persons max please.
- We will try to do as much of a funeral arrangement as possible over the phone, meeting only for long enough to sign the various forms.
- We will not be able to bring your deceased loved one home to rest during this time.
- To prevent the virus being spread amongst us all by passing objects from one to another, some normal items associated with a funeral will have to stop, these include service booklets and flowers,
- If your loved one is wearing clothes when they arrive here, we will dispose of them and will not be passing them back to you; we can’t give you something to take home that has been on our premises.
- We will dress the deceased in one of our gowns, not a set of their own clothes; we can’t have you bring something from your house to pass to us.
The crematoria are still allowing you to attend but in reduced numbers which must be strictly adhered to; some of them are only permitting 10 mourners.
Churches have ceased holding funerals in their buildings but say that services of remembrance will be held when they are able to do so.
Over the past week there have been daily changes to the way we are able to work and I expect there to be more restrictions in the near future. Your support and understanding will help us all to stay safe and well.
The team here at Leadbetter & Murphy are aware of the current situation concerning COVID-19 and the potential risks it poses to our clients and staff.
We intend to be socially responsible with regards to trying to limit the spread of the virus and will balance this with the need for us to continue with our vital role in the community.
It is crucial that our staff members remain well enough to carry out our work and so we have actioned our plans that are designed to not only keep us able to continue with what we need to do but also to protect you as far as is practical from us.
We are asking for your support by paying close attention to the new guidelines we have in place to help safeguard all of our health and wellbeing:
- Educating our staff regarding preventative measures.
- Highlighting the importance of frequent and proper handwashing.
- Cleaning of contact points more frequently.
- Increasing the disinfecting of all equipment and vehicles.
- Staff have been advised not to shake hands, to avoid physical contact and to practice reasonable Social Distancing. Please do not be offended , this is to protect you as well as us.
- We ask you to join us in practicing proper public hygiene, if you do need to sneeze or cough, please do so into a tissue or your elbow.
- We ask you to not visit us if you feel unwell, or have been in contact with people who are unwell.
- From today onwards and only until this pandemic comes to an end, please only come to see us on your own or as a couple, not as a family group.
- We are able to continue treating all deceased with the utmost care and respect and will still prepare your loved ones for viewing so that you can visit them in our private chapels; but please restrict visitors to only immediate family members during this pandemic.
- We are still able to arrange and carry out a funeral as normal but please use your own family cars to follow behind our hearse or to meet us at the venue for the funeral. It would be irresponsible of us to lay on limousines at this time. Having up to 8 people in one confined space goes against the Government guidelines for Social Distancing.
- You will need to limit the amount of people that you invite to attend a funeral so as to adhere to Government guidelines regarding mass gatherings. During the course of this pandemic, funerals need to be smaller and more intimate affairs and elderly relatives are advised to stay at home.
- If the situation worsens we have an emergency plan that will enable us to continue our vital public service whilst maintaining the dignity of the deceased and the health of our staff and clients.
We recognise the rapidly changing situation and are continuing to monitor Government recommendations, statements of the Chief Medical Officer and compare these with our own observations in the local community and hospitals and we will use our experience of prior pandemics and outbreaks to make informed decisions and take sensible actions.