Types of Funeral

We recognise that your requirements are unique and we will do all we can to fulfil them.

Within 24 Hours

For a number of reasons a family may require a burial to be arranged within 24 hours.

We can provide burial within 24 hours in Romford Cemetery and we will do all we can to ensure that this is available in the other Havering cemeteries. You will need to request an emergency appointment to register the death and your funeral director will need to contact us as soon as possible following the death to make the arrangements.


Low Cost

When someone dies their personal representative or next of kin may apply to the deceased’s bank who will usually release funds from the deceased’s account for funeral expenses. If you are on a low income and you are having difficulty paying for the funeral, you may be able to apply for a funeral payment. You will need to contact the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) or your local Jobcentre Plus. www.gov.uk/funeral-payments .

Funeral Choiceis a comparison website that allows you to enter your postcode to receive the costs of a number of funeral directors in your locality. If your local company is not on the website call them and ask for a quote, as you would for any other large purchase.

Most funeral professionals are happy to discuss your individual needs and to provide simple arrangements. These can include a “direct cremation”; your funeral director will transport the deceased to the crematorium where the cremation will take place unattended by friends and family. After the cremation your funeral director can return the remains to you or, when the cremation takes place at South Essex Crematorium, if you specifically request, the ashes may be laid to rest in our Gardens of Remembrance, unwitnessed at no further cost.

Family Arranged

The valuable care and direction offered by funeral professionals should not be underestimated however there is no legal obligation to use them. For a variety of reasons, increasingly families are choosing to make their own arrangements. This can be to meet a required budget or to reflect on and celebrate their loved one’s life in a very personal and creative way. You can arrange a cremation at South Essex Crematorium or a burial in one of Havering’s cemeteries directly with us if you wish; we work closely with colleagues in Queen’s Hospital to ensure that your individual needs can be met.

If you wish to care for your deceased loved one and arrange their funeral yourself The Natural Death Centre and The Good Funeral Guide both offer advice and The Natural Death Handbook is available for reference at South Essex Crematorium. It is always easier to arrange a funeral yourself if you have prepared in advance. There are a number of practical issues to consider including:

  • the cause and location of death
  • obtaining the legally required paperwork
  • care and transport of the body
  • how much help and support you have from family members

Many funeral professionals offer a flexible and accommodating service and are prepared to help you with selected tasks. However this may be difficult for them to do at certain busy times of the year.

You will need to contact the office at South Essex Crematorium to book a date and time for a cremation or burial and our experienced staff will advise you on your next steps. You will find all the necessary forms below.


Notice of Cremation South Essex Crematorium

Application for the cremation of the body of a person who has died Form 1

Medical Certificate Form 4

Notice of Interment



You may prefer to arrange an unattended cremation for a variety of reasons.  This option allows you more flexibility to decide where and when you say your final goodbyes.   Increasingly, families are choosing creative means to celebrate the life of a loved one and may not always want to accompany the coffin to the crematorium.  

You may wish to arrange a special service elsewhere.  Your funeral director can bring your loved one to South Essex Crematorium following the service.

Alternatively, you may ask your funeral director to bring your loved one here for cremation and choose to have a service later that day, where the cremated remains casket can be on display.  This could be at South Essex Crematorium or elsewhere. 

It may even be at the request of the deceased, that the funeral is unattended. Whatever you decide is the right way for you to say goodbye, it is important to ensure that family and friends understand your choice.  

An unattended cremation is one that is booked to take place:

  • between 8.00am and 9.00am
  • Tuesday to Thursday
  • for a reduced fee  

The coffin is placed on the catafalque in the usual, dignified manner by funeral professionals or family but:

  • there is no music
  • it is strictly unattended  if the chapel is not vacated once the coffin is in place, the full fee will apply.

We will:

  • receive the coffin into the crematory to await cremation
  • treat the cremation in the same way as any attended cremation
  • cremate the same day when requested
  • lay remains to rest unwitnessed in the Memorial Gardens if the applicant specifically requests this service, for no additional fee.