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How to organise a funeral during coronavirus lockdown in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:37 21 May 2020

Funeral services have changed due to social distancing measures. Co-operative Funeralcare explain everything you need to know     Picture: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media

Funeral services have changed due to social distancing measures. Co-operative Funeralcare explain everything you need to know Picture: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media

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Funeral directors at Central England Co-op Funeralcare in Norfolk and Suffolk understand the new and difficult circumstances which families find themselves in.

Co-op funeral directors offer guidance and support when saying farewell to a loved one

Pictures: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ MediaCo-op funeral directors offer guidance and support when saying farewell to a loved one Pictures: Alex Cantrill-Jones / ACJ Media

Our teams are privileged to care for families at their most difficult time. We aim to provide you with some guidance on the changes we have put in place to ensure our families and colleagues are safe when saying goodbye to loved ones.

Here is some advice on how we can help you arrange funerals and how our colleagues are available to support and guide you throughout the whole process – from start to finish.

Planning a funeral

One of the main changes involves arranging funerals over the phone and via email rather than in person to keep everyone involved safe. We understand that this might seem difficult at such an emotional time, but our experts will ensure you receive the very best advice and support.

When we speak to you over the phone, we will take time to explain any restrictions that might be in place, such as limits on the number of mourners, social distancing measures or restrictions on availability of certain products, so you know what to expect. We will also keep you up to date with any changes right up to the funeral itself.

If you wish to visit your loved one at our funeral home, this can be arranged by the funeral director. All we ask of families is to maintain social distancing guidelines to keep everyone involved in the visit safe. We may also have restrictions in place on visiting your loved one dependant on the circumstances of their passing.

While we are currently unable to provide flowers from our florists, you can arrange for your own or perhaps even bring some from your garden.

Funeral service

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Government guidelines dictate that there is a limit to the number of attendees at funeral services, therefore we ask families to follow the restrictions at the venue.

Currently, these restrictions mean that only immediate family can attend the funeral, with a strong recommendation of a maximum attendance of 10 mourners. Immediate family includes partners, parents, children, siblings and grandchildren. Mindful of these restrictions, we are working with crematoriums in certain locations to offer recording and webcasting services so that family and friends can still pay their respects while staying at home or self-isolating.

Co-op Funeralcare is also able to help you, your family and friends by changing the funeral route and passing through areas where other family members or friends live so that they can pay their respects.

We are still able to offer printed orders of service and some families are currently ordering these so that people who are unable to attend the funeral itself can still keep a memento of their loved one and the service that took place.

We also have new products available to help families remember their loved ones, including memory boxes, memory books and seeds to plant.

Naturally people want to be able to pay their respects once the funeral is over at a place that memorialises their loved one. And so, once restrictions are lifted or relaxed, we can also support you by arranging a memorial service for more people to attend and celebrate the life of your loved one at a future date.

Funeral planning

We are aware that many people will have already planned their funeral with us. We will do absolutely everything we can do to honour those wishes in line with the changes we have made based on government guidance. Many are opting for our Simple set plan, which offers a choice of burial or cremation and includes all essential funerary services.

Masonry

Our masonry business remains open to provide estimates and completion of memorial work at the workshop. We are currently unable to fix new memorials due to cemetery restrictions, but we will ensure this is prepared and ready for repair as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Contact Co-op Funeralcare 24 hours a day on 0333 920 7469. To find your local funeral director visit stores.centralengland.coop/funeral and we will do everything we can to support you during these difficult times.


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