The Government has announced that their imposed limit of 30 attendees at a funeral will end on 17th May, and will be replaced by a maximum number that the venue can support. Currently, social distancing measures will remain in place, although people will be allowed to make informed, personal decisions on close contact, such as hugging, with their friends and family.
While social distancing measures remain in place, then Portchester Crematorium is not in a position to safely increase the maximum number of mourners permitted in the chapels.
It will therefore be necessary for us to keep the current maximum numbers of 20 mourners in the South Chapel and 15 mourners in the North Chapel with no increase in attendance limits from Monday 17th May 2021.
We will keep the limits under review and if and when revised social distancing guidance comes from government, with confirmation of a reduction in or removal of social distancing, then we will be able to look at increasing our limits on attendance.
The Book of Remembrance Room is open with restrictions in place on the number of visitors allowed in the room at any one time and with a one-way flow to enter and exit the room. We ask that when visiting you read and follow the clear guidance that is displayed on social distancing and hygiene.
For those that are unable to visit but still wish to see the Book of Remembrance a digital version is available online on our website.
The Garden of Remembrance is open to the public but you must still continue to follow the strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble.
Please click on this link for an update on collecting unauthorised memorial items that were removed during our April 2021 garden clearance.
We are taking bookings for appointments to witness the scattering of ashes. Information is available here on booking and restrictions that will be in place to attend.
Our Office remains closed to members of the public with the exception of us seeing visitors for witness of scattering appointments only. Any enquiries can still be dealt with on the telephone by contacting the Crematorium Office on (01329) 822533.
Service Attendance Advice - In order to comply with the latest guidance from the government, to ensure that the bereaved are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect and any mourners and staff working are protected from avoidable risk of infection, the following restrictions apply at Portchester Crematorium:
- Alongside the Funeral Director, Chapel Attendant, and funeral staff only a modest number of close family and friends of the deceased may attend.
- Activities such as singing, chanting and requiring raised voices are not permitted.
- A professional musician, performing while social–distancing, will be permitted outdoors.
- Curtains will be closed at the end of all services and prior to the mourners leaving the chapel to remove the risk of anyone touching the coffin once it has entered the chapel.
- The family may be permitted to bear the coffin but it will be dependent on whether the Funeral Director is allowing it in line with their own risk assessments.
- All visitors using the chapels must wear a face mask or a protective face covering
- In order to restrict the number of mourners who attend so that a safe distance of at least 2 metres between individuals can be maintained, the following restrictions apply for the maximum number of attendees in our chapels:
South Chapel - The number of mourners is restricted to a maximum of 20. They need to be seated no more than 2 people to a bench, unless they are from the same household, and only every other row of seating should be used.
North Chapel - The number of mourners is restricted to a maximum of 15. They need to be seated no more than 2 people to a row of seats, unless they are from the same household. Seats in this chapel have been reduced and distanced to accommodate this.
Mourners are not permitted to stand and gather in the lobby/entrance to the chapels, these need to remain clear while services are taking place.
The limits on the number of mourners are the maximum numbers that should be attending the site for the service. It is not just a maximum number for entering the Chapels as anyone outside of these numbers then becomes a public gathering which is not permitted at the crematorium.
Please note that the contact information of any applicant/lead mourner arranging a cremation service may now be shared with NHS Test and Trace. Along with a name, contact phone number and date of visit, which we already collect for ordinary business, we will be collecting information on the number of people at the service and arrival and departure time in our chapels.
The Guidance also states that to ensure that organisations managing funerals are able to cope with the increased number of deaths, it is important that funerals are not delayed. We understand how difficult this will be for the families and friends of lost loved ones; however, the current guidance will be in place for the foreseeable future for the safety of the public.
For further advice for mourners on attending services at Portchester Crematorium our public notice can be found here.
Joint Statement from APCC, Cremation Society, FBCA, ICCM Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2020
Sharing of Information with NHS Test and Trace Notice