Coronavirus Update

Following meetings with our trade associations and Government and with the help and guidance of our local churches, crematoria and cemetery office we are now able to give more detailed advice on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and its impact on how funeral will be organised.

We appreciate that this a very difficult and stressful time for you and you want to do all that you can to celebrate the life of your loved one. We will do all we can to make this happen, however we are experiencing the frustrations of our clients particularly the feeling that funerals should carry on as normal. Those that work in the funeral industry are just as vulnerable to this virus and should the virus ‘take hold’ it would not only disrupt all the current funerals, including cancellations, but could damage the company indefinitely.  This isn’t meant to upset you and you have our assurance that we will do all we can to make certain we conduct the service that you have asked for. In order to beat this, we all need to take sensible precautions.

Any funeral arrangements that have been made prior to the date of this notice will be conducted as arranged, save for any amendments made by third parties, that are beyond our control.

The Church of England has agreed that funerals can still take place in church, however these services will be simple and limited to just immediate family mourners. No definite number has been given, however no more than 12 has been suggested. The thought is that these are ’said’ services alleviating the need for additional staff such as organists, vergers and churchwardens. Ministers will continue to be available to lead services either at graveside or at the crematorium. There will be the option to have a memorial service when this terrible virus has gone.

The Catholic Church has decided that there will be no funeral services held in church. Priests and ministers from these churches will be available to lead services at either graveside or at the crematorium. There will be the option to have a memorial service when this terrible virus has gone.

Churches of other faiths are yet to provide guidance.

If you are concerned that your choice of church is affected, please contact us so we can find out for you.

Celebrants and Humanist Celebrants will continue to lead services either at graveside or at the crematorium.

In all cases visits by the minister/priests/celebrants prior to the funeral will instead be replaced by a telephone call.

Many crematoria continue to operate but would prefer smaller numbers in attendance, as with church services the suggestion is immediate family only. Hymn books have been removed in order to reduce the chance of transmitting the virus. Mournes are encouraged to wait in their cars until the funeral arrives, waiting rooms on site will be closed. Mourners are discouraged from touching the coffin as they leave the chapel and to replace their final goodbye gesture with a wave or to blow a kiss. The witness charge of the coffin into the cremator will be limited to the immediate next of kin and a maximum of 4 additional relatives/friends. Most crematoria have the facility to webcast a service. Please ask if this is something you are interested in.

The cemeteries in Northampton have some restrictions. The chapels in Kingsthorpe and Towcester Road cemeteries are closed.  The option to select a grave or pre-purchase a grave has been withdrawn. New graves will be allocated by the cemetery superintendent. Families are asked not to carry and lower the coffin themselves or backfill the grave.

It is very important that the social distancing guidelines are followed. This means that large numbers of mourners should be discouraged from attending funeral services. As mentioned previously only immediate family would be preferred. This will be very difficult to police and is where common sense is called for.

Some of these measures may result in a service not being arranged and conducted as quickly as you would like. We would ask you to be patient with us at this time.

Our offices are open, however if you are experiencing any symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has we respectfully ask you not to call in to see us.

We have, after a great deal of though and with advice put the following safeguards into action:

  • Where possible all funerals will be arranged over the telephone with any paperwork requiring a signature sent out to you. If you find this difficult you can call into our offices to make the arrangements, however we will restrict the number of those attending to no more than 2
  • All groups visiting the offices to make general enquiries or to visit the chapels will limited to 2.
  • Those visiting our offices will be asked to sanatise their hands on arrival and before they leave.
  • Limousines will no longer be available for use. A full limousine would breach social distancing guidelines.
  • All public areas will be sanatised on a regular basis.
  • It is our aim to reduce face-to-face contact as much as possible.
  • Sadly, we won’t be shaking hands or giving out hugs!

We consider these measures necessary for your own wellbeing as well as our own.  Please be assured the service provided by Hollowells will be of the same high standard that you would expect.

We can get through this together by being sensible and following the advice given from Public Health England and the NHS.

If you are worried about the impact of Coronavirus and our service, please do contact us.

Please be safe and take good care of yourselves and others.

All at Hollowells.