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Funeral Services

Funerals can still take place, but with stricter control measures in order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Funeral services

National restrictions on funeral services have changed. This allows us to return to close to business as usual at our cemeteries and crematoria.


  • Service timeslots continue as per the current daily schedule.
  • Standing in the aisles or any other open floor space within the enclosed ceremony area is discouraged
  • Singing hymns, playing musical instruments, ceremonial guards of honour and family bearing of coffins is permitted.

Poole Chapel and Bournemouth East Chapel

Up to 98 mourners (seated) can attend funeral service. This excludes the funeral director, bearers and chapel staff.

Bournemouth West Chapel

No more than 38 people (seated) can enter the chapel. 


  • There are no restrictions on the number of mourners who can attend a witness scatter, interment, placement in a vault or columbarium outside in addition to viewings of the Book of Remembrance.
  • Standing outside of Bournemouth East chapel is permitted, with the use of external speakers. 


  • At Poole, the coffin is to be carried into the chapel. The bearers should then leave the chapel before the mourners are ushered into the chapel.
  • Mourners can stand outside Poole chapel with the doors to the chapel area remaining open throughout the service


Due to the two chapel layout design at Bournemouth and the shared exit route, the coffin should be conveyed into the chapel, followed directly by the mourners at a safe distance.

Bearing of coffin

We ask that friends and family members are discouraged from bearing the coffin into the chapel. We appreciate the significance of this ritual to families, so if families insist on bearing the coffin, this need to be communicated to the crematorium 2 working days before the service takes place.

Face coverings

We encourage all funeral professionals (including celebrants), mourners and visitors attending services or entering any enclosed space to wear a secure face covering. This includes chapels located at Bournemouth and Poole Crematorium, Bournemouth cemetery chapels, Christchurch cemetery chapel, Poole cemetery chapels, Book of Remembrance Rooms and bereavement support offices. People do not need to wear face coverings if they are exempt.

Mourners and other visitors to the site are asked to bring their own face coverings. However, a mask will be offered to anyone arriving onsite and entering a building without a face covering.

Celebrants are allowed to lower or remove their face covering once at the lectern, located a clear 2 metres plus from the seated congregation. This will allow clear, unmuffled speaking during the service. Once finished, the celebrant must replace their face covering before moving away from the lectern.

 Further information and guidance about face coverings.

Brass or Woodwind Instruments

Any brass or woodwind instrument such as a trumpet, clarinet or bugle is not not be allowed to play within the chapel.

Playing of such instruments is only permitted outside the Chapel, in Poole, the during a service within a safe distance of 5 metres or more from the seated congregation. The playing of bagpipes will only be permitted in the outside areas. Any requests for the playing of brass or woodwind instruments need to be directed to the Bournemouth and Poole office 2 days before the date of the service.

Ceremonial Guard of Honour

From time to time, requests are made to hold a ceremonial guard of honour for the deceased. This is to be discouraged in view of tendencies to gather on site following the arrival of the funeral cortege. Requests for formal ceremonial guard of honour will need to be made directly with the Bournemouth or Poole office 2 working days prior to the date of service.


Bournemouth and Poole

Live webcasting of services together with a ‘watch again’ option will be offered to families at the published fee. Wherever possible, families are encouraged to invite mourners to watch the live stream to reduce the number of people who attend in person.

You can book a web casting via your funeral director, which can be recorded and provided as a USB or DVD.

Visual and musical tributes

Visual and musical tributes will continue as normal.

Scatterings, interments and charging

Up to 5 close family members can attend interment and scattering of ashes. 

All witness charging of the coffin is suspended. The only exception to this is for religious reasons with a limit set to two witnesses.

Waiting Areas

The Waiting Room at both Bournemouth and Poole Crematorium remain closed to mourners and other visitors. Access is only permitted for use of the toilet facilities or access to the Book of Remembrance Room in Bournemouth. The hot drinks machine will not be operated, with the cold water dispenser available for use.

Books of Remembrance

To ensure the safety of all visitors and staff, the Books of Remembrance will be made available for restricted viewing. 

Bereavement support offices

The Bereavement support office at Poole Crematorium will be re-open to members of the public with safety measures in place. No more than 2 people will be permitted access to the office at any one time.

Hand sanitiser dispensers will be in place and visitors asked to use on entrance and exit. A glass screen is in place providing additional protection for visitors and staff alike. The office will be open for access from 9 am until 5pm Monday to Friday.

The Bereavement Support Office at Bournemouth Crematorium will remain closed to public access for the time-being while preparations are put in place for additional protection screens to be installed. It is hoped that the office will re-open to members of the public from Monday 3rd August. Further notification will be confirmed nearer the time.


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