Changes to cremation services in Kirklees

cremation - white lily on dark background

As part of our commitment to managing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have taken the very difficult decision to make further changes to cremation services in the Kirklees.

We have made the sad decision to take no further bookings for funeral services at Dewsbury Crematorium and Huddersfield Crematorium from Monday 6 April.

This is in line with new stricter and clearer government guidance relating to social distancing at funerals.  

What about the services that are already booked?

If you have already arranged your service then this will go ahead as planned. However, the number of people in the chapel will be limited to 10. This is to allow social distancing for the safety of both staff and mourners.

We would encourage the elderly, anyone with underlying health conditions or pregnant women to pay attention to current government guidance and to consider not attending a chapel service and stay at home.

What happens at a cremation booked after Monday 6 April?

Any new bookings will be carried out as ‘direct cremations’. A ‘direct cremation’ is carried out without mourners and has no service.

Whilst we will no longer offer a full funeral service or allow families to come into the crematoria, we hope that providing the opportunity for a vicar or celebrant to say a prayer or a few words in the chapel, will bring some comfort to families and loved ones.

What about burials?

You can still book a graveside burial service and these will continue to go ahead. Unfortunately, we can only allow 10 mourners to attend.  People attending should observe social distancing so that our bereavement service staff and gravediggers can carry out their duties safely.

Why are we making these changes?

Councillor Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“We are making these decisions with a heavy heart, nobody wants to have to take something from people who are grieving. Sadly, whilst this terrible virus continues to spread throughout the world we need to put in place measures to protect our staff, mourners and their families.

We know that losing a loved one is heartbreaking, and we understand that funerals provide an opportunity to formally say goodbye and celebrate their life. This is why we are working with funeral directors to explore ways for memorials to take place in the future. These are unprecedented times, and I can assure you that we will do everything we can to offer your loved ones a respectful final journey.  We will review arrangements on a regular basis, and remain in close dialogue with funeral directors to keep them informed throughout this time.”

Other local authorities, including our neighbours in Leeds and Bradford, have already made these changes. We will review them on a regular basis as the COVID-19 pandemic develops.

We will work with funeral directors to seek alternative options for those affected. So that they can pay their respects to loved ones who have passed away. This could include holding a celebration of life or similar service later in the year when facilities become available again.

Who should I contact for more information

If you have any questions about the process please speak to your funeral director, who will be able to support you with arrangements. 

More information about bereavement services 


  • Hi Tricia, we have updated our policy on this please see the newest article. regards^CP

  • HI Lynne, we have made changes to this now. Up to ten mourners will now be allowed to stand outside the chapel and pay their respects whilst the minister of religion or civil celebrant conducts a short service, as long as they maintain the government’s social distancing guidelines and keep two metres apart. ^CP

  • Lynne O’Neill

    Is there a reason why the service can not be held outside the Crematorium with restriction on the number attending, the same as a burial service would be held outside. It does not seem right to treat burial/cremation differently.

  • This is the saddest news I have ever heard. So harsh and people will never get over this drastic action. Please reconsider it is cruel.

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