A guide to our Services
The Chapel - Service times, music etc...
- Our funeral services are held every hour with 30 minutes allocated for the actual service. This allows plenty of time to be seated before the service and to leave the chapel unhurried. With our two chapels there are now shorter waiting times for funerals.
- An extended service can be provided for an additional fee.
- The funeral service can be as personal or unique as you wish.
- The chapel can be personalised for any religion or belief.
- Our uniformed chapel attendant will be available at each service.
- Both chapels are warm and welcoming.
- We have seating for around 90 mourners in St Edmunds Chapel and 60 in Abbey Chapel plus ample standing room inside.
- The service can be relayed outside via speakers for large attendances.
- We have a modern computerised music system that can provide almost any music choice that is requested.
- We can offer webcasting and recording of your service.
- Flowers can be donated for use in the chapel after the funeral.
- Floral tributes will remain displayed in the Flower Terrace for a minimum of 2 days.
- We have an organ in the chapel, and our organist is available on every funeral.
SEE PERSONALISING YOUR FUNERAL PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MUSIC, WEBCASTS & SERVICE RECORDINGS.
Our chapel and offices are always open to visitors who would like to inspect the premises before a service. It is always advisable to ring in advance to ensure the chapel is free for you to look around.
1. Cremation Service
- Our funeral services are held every 45 minutes - this allows plenty of time for the service. Some families have a religious service with hymns, some people have a civil service with poems and popular music while some would have no service at all. We are here to ensure you have the service that ‘you’ want.
- During your time in the chapel we will take care of the music for the service and ensure that the chapel is ready as requested.
- Once the service is finished and the mourners have left the chapel the coffin will be taken into the crematory. The coffin is cremated exactly as it is received in the crematory and is always cremated separately. This will take place within 24 hours.
- The cremated remains (ashes) will be ready for collection the following day. The ashes can be collected by the Funeral Director or the applicant for cremation. Another member of the family can collect the ashes only with the written permission of the applicant.
- The crematorium has an “open door” policy and we welcome families to inspect the chapel crematory either before a service or following the cremation. Please contact the office to arrange for a visit.
- Following the cremation service, the crematorium will send details of our memorial choices to the applicant. We always recommend a visit to the crematorium where a member of staff will be able to show you around the gardens and give advice of the different options.
2. Policy Statement for Infant Cremation
Please click the following link to download our policy statement for infant cremation.
3. Behind the Scenes
At West Suffolk Cemetery & Crematorium we are very proud of our facilities and the high standards of care that we provide for the bereaved.
On the day of a funeral or when visiting a loved ones resting place, families and visitors will only ever see our grounds and gardens, or the chapel or cemetery.
This dedication to providing the highest standards of care is further demonstrated behind the scenes at the crematorium. These are the areas that are not normally accessed by the general public.
Once the curtains close and everyone leaves the chapel the coffin is carefully transferred to the crematory where the name plate is checked again. The deceased details are provided on a name card and this card will follow the deceased throughout the entire process. Once all checks are recorded the coffin is charged into the cremator and the cremation process commences.
At West Suffolk Cemetery & Crematorium we have two modern computer controlled cremators that were installed during the recent refurbishment of the crematorium. The cremators are connected to a sophisticated filtration system which removes any toxins harmful to the environment together with any waste combustion gasses. This will ensure mourners and visitors will never see any smoke released into the atmosphere.
At the end of the cremation process the remains are collected and cooled. The final stage is the reduction of the remains to a fine ash that is suitable for scattering. The ashes are placed into an urn or casket where the name card will be attached for identification.
West Suffolk Cemetery & Crematorium has an open door policy whereby members of the public may by appointment view the facilities behind the scenes during an operating day. This policy will help dispel any myths and answer any questions. On seeing the cremation process the viewer can be reassured that all cremations take place individually, coffins are cremated with the deceased and that identity is maintained throughout the process so that a family can be sure that they receive the correct remains. We also accommodate Hindu and Sikh funeral rites whereby the charging of the coffin into the cremator may be witnessed.
For further details about the cremation process please refer to the ‘Code of Cremation Practice’ which West Suffolk Crematorium & Cemetery adopts in full.
For a few images from "Behind The Scenes" Click here for our Gallery...
4. Cremated Remains Info
Westerleigh Group has a policy of carrying out a cremation within 24 hours of the funeral service. This means that the cremated remains (ashes) will usually be available by lunchtime the following day. When the cremations forms are completed with your Funeral Director, you will be asked if you have made a decision on the disposal of the cremated remains. At this point it is important to remember that there is no rush to make a decision. It is always best to wait if you are not absolutely sure as once the ashes have been scattered or interred that decision cannot be reversed.
Your choices for the ashes are usually as follows:
- Remove from the crematorium by the Funeral Director or the applicant for cremation (the person who completed and signed the cremations forms) for disposal elsewhere.
- Scatter in the designated part of the garden at the crematorium. This is usually carried out 2 months after the funeral service, unless we are advised to scatter sooner. We can either carry out the scattering for you or the scattering can be witnessed by members of the family. One of our staff will carry out the scattering and a prayer or poem can be said for you. No memorials or markers can be placed with the ashes when they are scattered. If you prefer to have the area marked in some way, then you would need to inter the remains and choose from our choice of memorials.
- Inter at a memorial at the crematorium (see separate section on memorial choices)
- Retain at the crematorium. This is the preferred choice if you haven’t yet made a decision. The crematorium will look after the ashes for up to 6 months, until you are ready to make your choice. During this time it is advisable to pop along to the crematorium to look around the grounds or just chat to one of our members of staff who can explain all the options.
The choice of the final resting place for a loved-ones remains can be very worrying and confusing. We would like to reassure you that there is no rush to make a decision and we are always here to help wherever we can.
Remember we offer a beautiful range of unique jewellery – just a spoonful of the ashes is needed to create a piece of jewellery or a crystal keepsake – and the rest of the ashes can be buried or scattered elsewhere.
5. Metal Recycling
Following a cremation, a variable amount of metals will be retrieved from the cremator. This is usually metal left from the manufacture of the coffin – nails, screws and staples etc. – but may also contain metal used in orthopaedic implants such as hip and knee replacements. Traditionally these metals would have been buried in the grounds of the crematorium, but in recent years the guidelines were changed to allow the metals to be recycled. This not only provides a far greater benefit to the environment but also allows us the opportuntiy to raise money for local charities. Now, the majority of all UK crematoria are currently recycling metals.
The Westerleigh Group has adopted a metal recycling scheme which takes the metal and, after deducting costs involved in the recycling process, such as transport, sorting and smelting, donates the surplus to local bereavement related charities. In the 5 years Westerleigh have been involved in metal recycling we have donated approximately £100’000 to UK charities.
Precious metal such as gold and silver jewellery that has been left on the deceased will melt and disperse during the cremation process. We would strongly advise that jewellery is not left on the deceased but is retained by the relatives.
Our ‘Application for Cremation’ form will advise families that we will be recycling the metal retrieved following their loved ones cremation and they have the option to opt-out of the scheme if they wish. They will be responsible for collecting the metals from the crematorium. However, the vast majority of families choose to join this worthwhile and beneficial scheme.
We donate this money once a year and we put details of the recipients on our website and the local press will usually publish the story to enable families to learn about the good causes that have benefitted from the recycling scheme.
6. Code of Cremation Practice
Code of Cremation Practice
West Suffolk Crematorium is part of the Westerleigh Group which subscribes to The Federation of Burial & Cremation Authorities Code of Cremation Practice. Please click HERE to download details.
7. Our Aims
- To make sure every funeral service is regarded as a unique and individual event and receives the same priority as if it was for a member of one’s own family.
- To provide first class facilities, both in our buildings and grounds, maintained to the highest standards day to day.
- Flexibility and adaptability. We are there to serve Funeral Directors and the families in their care.
- To be as efficient and effective as possible when delivering our services. This ensures that we focus our resources on our key aim, to provide the best service to the bereaved, and build a sustainable organisation for the long term.
8. Grounds Maintenance
We will endeavour to maintain a consistently high standard of grounds maintenance, through the year. The grass in each crematoria will be cut every 2-3 weeks (except in extraordinary weather conditions) as a minimum throughout the growing season. Bins to be emptied daily in those sections visited frequently. All major roads and paved areas to be swept/blown daily. Toilets will be inspected regularly and cleaned daily. All groundsmen and women to wear identifying clothes.
9. Other General Information
- All staff will act with respect and sympathy in all matters relating to the care of the bereaved.
- All administrative staff to wear identifying clothes.
- All correspondence will receive a reply within three working days.
- Book of Remembrance Chapel is open Monday – Friday 9.00am till 5.30pm and on Saturdays/Sundays/Bank Holidays from 9.00am to 5.30pm.
- Full disabled facilities will be provided including ramps, designated parking, loop system and disabled toilets and we now have baby-changing facilities.