Church of England Diocese of York Skipton on Swale

COVID-19 Coronavirus update - Funerals

4 Apr 2020, 8:30 p.m.


In this exceptional time, the Government’s guidance on social distancing and self-isolation will have a major impact on all aspects of everyday life, including the way funerals will be conducted for the immediate future. Christian funerals will now only take place at either the graveside or the crematorium, and therefore may be different from what might normally be expected.

Before the Funeral

It is advised that meetings between the bereaved and the person taking the funeral (officiant) are held by telephone. If meetings can only be held in person, social distancing guidance will be followed.

Planning the Funeral

Numbers of those attending the funeral will have to be kept to the minimum of immediate family only (spouse/partner, parents, children). This should also be communicated to anyone in the wider circle of friends, family or colleagues in advance. Sadly, those over the age of 70 and those with an underlying health condition are strongly discouraged from attending in the present circumstances.

Any changes to the normal service will be explained by the officiant to the family.

There will be the offer of a Memorial Service/Service of Thanksgiving at a later date.

During the Funeral

Everyone attending the graveside or the crematorium must adhere to Government guidance on social distancing. Please follow the directions of the officiant and funeral director.

While naturally those present may wish to shake hands or hug, all present should refrain from doing so in light of guidance on physical distancing.

After the Funeral

In keeping with the recommendations to limit social gatherings, there should not be a wake or other gathering after the funeral, although it may possible to hold a gathering at a later date

If you are organising the funeral of a loved one, we are acutely aware of what a difficult time this will be. We will do our best to explain any changes or delays that may be an inevitable consequence of the current restrictions – for example, to the burial of ashes – but we are here to support you and to ensure a Christian funeral and burial can still be provided.

If you have further queries, please contact the Vicar, The Rev’d Susanne Jukes

01845 578513 07764 375430 [email protected]

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39