Lawrence Funeral Directors issues latest advice regarding funeral arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic

Lawrence Funeral Directors in Halifax have issued updated advice and guidance for people who are arranging a funeral during the fast-moving coronavirus pandemic.

How changes to the lockdown will impact on funerals in Halifax

Shops, pubs and restaurants have been open for a few weeks now, showing that life in Halifax is getting back to some sense of normality.

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Funerals have continued to go ahead throughout the lockdown period, even during the times when restrictions were at their tightest.

Yet with lockdown starting to relax, only one in ten people (12%) are confident they know exactly what the current restrictions mean for organising a funeral.

It’s important that people who are organising a funeral know exactly what kind of service they can arrange for their loved one.

How funerals have changed

Over the past three months funeral directors have been continually adapting the service we offer to ensure we’re meeting changing government guidance, while still giving families a respectful funeral for their loved one.

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The biggest change has been in the number of people who can attend. At the start of the lockdown most funerals were restricted to very small numbers of people. However, more and more crematoriums and other funeral venues have adapted their spaces to increase the number of people who can attend while maintaining social distancing. This means there is quite a lot of variation at a local level. Your funeral director will be able to advise you on what your options are, but at Park Wood Crematorium in Calderdale, 15 people can attend a service with 5 more people allowed in the waiting room.

We are also still able to provide many of the most important elements of a funeral. Your loved one can be buried or cremated. We are able to arrange flowers and you can have readings, music and a hearse.

Getting to the funeral

We are really happy to say at Lawrence funeral directors in Halifax we are now able to provide a limousine service. To protect both our employees and our clients we have installed a perspex partition between the chauffeur and passengers to provide a safe environment. Each limousine is available for family members from the same household with a maximum of 6 people per vehicle.

We know how important this service is to many families, so we’ve worked quickly to adapt our limousines so that we can offer it again.

Religious venues are open again

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One of the toughest challenges during the lockdown period has been that most religious venues have been closed. However, in recent weeks many religious venues have begun to reopen and The Church of England is once again allowing funerals in its churches.

Of course, due to social distancing rules, there may still be a limit of attendees as well as other restrictions, but you can rely on your funeral director to find out what they are for you.

New ways to participate in funerals

Even with relaxations to restrictions around social distancing it will still be important for the most vulnerable to stay away from gatherings of people if they can.

During the lockdown period we have found more and more people showing an interest in live streaming funerals over the internet. Many of our clients have said how surprised they have been that viewing online gave them a feeling of participating in a funeral.

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Availability of live-streaming will depend on where the funeral is held, but Park Wood Crematorium does have live-streaming capability as well as the opportunity to request a recording.

We have been thinking of other ways for people to participate in funerals in their own home. For example, sharing orders of service, readings and hymns with people who are unable to attend so that they know when, where and how the service will take place and can take a moment at home to remember the deceased.

Making arrangements

We have started seeing people face to face at some of our branches. However, we still encourage people to do as much as they can over the phone.

At Lawrence funeral directors in Halifax we are able to see two family members at a time in branch, please ring ahead to make an appointment.

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If you have questions you want to ask out of hours you can visit the Dignity website where we have a number of FAQs or call our 24 hour client service centre: 0800 456 1047

If you have been affected by Covid-19 or are self-isolating we have procedures that will allow us to arrange a funeral with you, but please call or email to contact us.