(page updated 24th July 2021)
Although the restrictions eased significantly on Monday 19th July, there are still some restrictions on Funeral attendance, depending on which council is in charge of the site. Your funeral director will advise you of the up-to-date position at your chosen crematorium when booking the service.
The situation today is greatly improved from March 2020-June 2021 where people could only have 10-20 attendees, but there are still some restrictions in place to protect staff and mourners.
I am allowed to come to your house to do the 'family visit', as long as you are happy for me to do so and we keep a distance of 2 metres, ideally with an open window if possible. I have been "double jabbed".
If the above is not possible or you are still shielding, we can do the "family visit" over the phone, emails or via video call - often a mixture of all three. I appreciate that this is not ideal - however over the course of this last year I have developed a lot of experience doing it this way! It is still perfectly possible for me to gather the information needed to write a unique tribute even if we cannot meet in person. I would provide you with my usual set of questions that I usually use to build a picture of the deceased and then we can discuss in much more detail over the phone (or a technology of your choice)
Here are some comments from families who I dealt with entirely remotely:
"Roger did an amazing job delivering our celebration of life of our precious daughter. Being a bit dubious at first of not being able to meet in person I was immediately put at ease and was able to speak about my daughters life with great ease. We could not have asked for anything better, everyone commented how lovely the service was. It gives us great comfort knowing what an amazing send off we gave our beautiful, kind, caring, courageous daughter. We cannot thank Roger enough."
"Mr. Payne was very kind and caring, making several phone calls and emails to myself and grandson whose mum, my daughter, was the deceased. He made the ceremony a truly personal one for our family and his help and guidance were invaluable."
"Roger Payne, the family and I, had a useful Zoom meeting to prepare for the service. Roger's email prior to the Zoom guided our preparations and helped us all to formulate our thoughts and contribution. Following the Zoom, Roger had emailed us the draft for our approval and he was completely faithful to this in the service. Everyone was pleased and comforted by the outcome"
These are potential options for the service itself:
funerals at almost all crematoria can be broadcast live (often called ‘live-streaming’) or recorded for viewing later – this must be booked in advance, please notify your Funeral Director at the time of booking
Councils and Crematoria may change their policies at short notice – if so, I welcome anybody in attendance wishing to film it on an iPad/phone to play to others later
you can hold a separate larger memorial in a venue of your choosing at a much later date when no restrictions are in place
I will always provide a full copy of everything that was written and said about the deceased on the day, usually via emailing you pdf of the service
Please get in touch if you would like to explore any of the above options
Please also remember that all accredited Humanists UK celebrants are part of a wider network with over 300 of us covering the whole of England & Wales, so if your celebrant has to isolate then another will be able to stand in with no impact to your service