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South Bucks District Council
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Cremation

You may wish to scatter the cremated remains (ashes) either in the crematorium grounds or in a favourite location (permission should be obtained from the landowner in this instance.

You may want to bury the cremated remains in an existing or a new grave. This option is chosen as people like to have a personal memorial and a special place to visit. If this is your preference, we offer several choices and are happy to discuss your individual requirements with you.

When the cremated remains are buried, a cemetery representative will be present to offer assistance. You may have a service with or without a minister. The cemetery office can also provide you with a leaflet entitled "a farewell" which can be used by the family if no religious service has been arranged. Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of this leaflet. If, however, you would like a minister to take a short service he/she will be happy to discuss this with you. An alternative to this would be to arrange a civil ceremony.

Current figures show that around 70% of all funerals are cremations, and yet many people do not understand the process of cremation, and have concerns that they may not voice. Cremation is still forbidden by Orthodox Jews and Moslems. However, it is the normal method for Sikhs, Hindus, Parsees and Buddhists. All Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, allow cremation.

Is the Funeral Service different?
The service for burial and cremation is the same. You could have a service at your own place of worship followed by a short committal service at the crematorium chapel, or a civil ceremony could take place, or no service at all. The whole service could also take place in the crematorium chapel. Cremation can be arranged without the services of a Funeral Director, as can burial. Please contact the crematorium for help, if this is your preference.

Can I witness the cremation?
You can witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator if you wish. Most crematoriums have a viewing room which overlooks the crematory. The room may also be equipped with CCTV to enable all present to see clearly. You will need to ask your chosen crematorium if they can offer this service, and book the viewing room at the time of the funeral booking.

Is the coffin cremated or re-sold?
Many people ask if the coffin is cremated with the body, or if the body is removed and the coffin sold back to the Funeral Director. The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) Guiding Principles state that the container and the body shall be placed in the cremator and cremation commenced. No coffin is opened or disturbed once sealed. The coffin and the body inside are cremated together. Handles and nameplates are usually made of hard plastic and are therefore left on the coffin. Any nails or screws are removed from the cremated remains by the use of a magnetic field.

Sometimes, if a deceased or their family have requested the use of a cardboard coffin, they may prefer to see a more aesthetically pleasing coffin during the service. In this instance, the family may choose to have a cloth to cover the cardboard coffin, or the use of a "cocoon coffin". The cocoon coffin is an outer shell which covers the cardboard coffin until it reaches the crematory. The cloth or cocoon coffin are not cremated, as the body will be cremated inside the original cardboard coffin.

How do I know if the cremated remains are from the correct body?
The normal size of a cremation chamber is about 7ft long by 2ft 6inches wide, and approximately 2ft 3inches high. As such, each cremator can only accept one coffin at a time. All the remains are removed from the cremator before the next cremation can commence. There are exceptions to this, for example in the case of a mother and baby, or small twin children. These cremations could take place in one coffin, at the specific request of the next of kin.

An identity card is prepared by the crematorium giving all relevant information about the deceased. This card stays with the body from the time it is taken into the committal room until the final disposal of the cremated remains.
Cremated remains are totally bone ash, weighing approximately four to six pounds.

If you telephone your local crematorium, you can arrange to visit them and see how the whole process is handled.
The local crematoria are:

Crematoria
Chilterns Crematorium
Whielden Lane,
Winchmoor Hill
Tel: 01494 724263

Slough Crematorium
Stoke Rd.,Slough
Tel: 01753 523127

Breakspear Crematorium
Ruislip
Tel: 01895 630877