Although any death, is for most bereaved families a sad and painful time, however and unfortunately, in this unprecedented situation those feelings are compounded more than ever. I hope the following information helps a little.
Arranging a funeral for your loved one
In more normal circumstance when arranging a funeral for a bereaved family I would welcome the more personal approach, for example face to face contact, either in my funeral home or in a home visit. However, due to the social distancing now advised by our Government and for all our safety I cannot offer that facility at this moment in time. Therefore, I would like to ask you please, that should you wish to use my services (and I do hope you will) to look after you and your loved one then would you please call me on 01744 454785 to discuss the funeral arrangements. Most of the arrangements can be made this way without losing too much of a personal approach. Any necessary paperwork can be completed in your own home of which I will personally post and collect once it's been completed by you. Obviously the strict social distancing advised by our Government will be adhered to.
Chapels of Rest
This will discussed with you when I arrange the funeral for your loved one.
Unfortunately due to the social distancing advice only my hearse will be available for the funeral until further notice. I would therefore kindly request that you provide your own vehicles to reach the venue where the funeral is to be held for your loved one.
Floral tributes are allowed on the coffin, however they will need to be left in the hearse before the coffin enters the chapel at St Helens Crematorium.
Registering the death
At this present time you may still register the death at the Registrars Office, the number allowed attend though is restricted. However, on Friday 27th March 2020 Parliament will be reviewing that and it is very likely that you will be allowed to register a death by telephone followed by electronic issue of the Green form 9, which is required by the funeral director.
St Helens Crematorium are still allowing 30 minute services to be held in their chapel, however a maximum of ten attendees only please.
All church services have been temporarily suspended due to the virus but the clergy will still officiate at the chosen crematorium/graveside.
I do hope this helps clarify a few things for you at what is already a deeply distressing time for you and your family and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please stay safe, Lesley.
If the person who has just passed away has been poorly and has been treated by their doctor within the last fourteen days then you should:
Call the doctor's surgery to inform them that their patient has passed away. A doctor will then come and verify the death and authorise you to contact the funeral director. When you call us on 01744 454785 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) we will arrange with you come to the deceased home (usually within an hour of them passing away) to collect them and bring them into our care. The GP should also advise you to contact the doctor's surgery to collect the medical certificate which you then take along to the Registrar's Office in the borough where the person died. The Registrar's number should be on the envelope that the medical certificate is in. You will need to call them and make an appointment to register the death, which you will need to do within five working days. There, you will issued with both the Death Certificate and also a certificate for burial or cremation, also referred to as the 'green form'. The Death Certificate is for your records and the green form will need to be given to the funeral director. In the meantime, whilst you are waiting to register the death you can still begin to make the funeral arrangements with us and simply provide us with the green form as soon as you receive it from the Registrar's Office.
When someone dies in hospital
The hospital where the person passed away usually have a dedicated Bereavement Office where they will guide you through the process of collecting the medical certificate from them and subsequently registering the death. Once again, whilst you are waiting to register you can still appoint me as your funeral director and begin making the funeral arrangements.
Unfortunately, when a person has passed suddenly either whilst in hospital or at home then the Coroner may need to be involved. Please don't worry, it usually just means the Coroner will need to liaise with the doctor who treated the person in their last days and a decision will be made whether the deceased will need a postmortem exmination or not.
If, indeed a postmortem is required the Coroner will carry out the examination to determine the cause of death and will issue the next of kin with an Interim Death Certificate which you should collect from the Registrar's Office. Again, in the meantime you can still appoint the funeral director to begin making some preliminary arrangements.
The cost of a funeral
Because each funeral can differ greatly from person to person and therefore vary in cost, depending on how simple or elaborate you would like to keep the arrangements. I would like to encourage you to either call into my funeral home at 2 Prescot Road, ST HELENS, WA10 3UB or telephone me on 01744 454785 so we can give you an estimate based on your needs and budget.