Trafford Council restricts attendance at chapel services due to coronavirus

Trafford Council, with deep regret, has taken on board the Government’s advice on social distancing and has restricted attendance at chapel services at Altrincham Crematorium Chapel to immediate family only with a maximum of 10 mourners.

The decision comes as social venues close and the public are urged to stay home and limit all but essential travel in order to further limit the spread of coronavirus.

These new measures will protect the health and wellbeing of bereaved families as well as staff. Families will be encouraged to wait in their cars or outside the Chapel ahead of services, as the waiting room in the Chapel is closed to reduce the risk of infection. Extra cleaning processes are in place at the Chapel and Crematorium.

Service books have also been removed from Chapels as a precaution and hand shaking is also being discouraged with ministers, celebrants and funeral directors until further notice. If you or a member of your family has symptoms of the virus, you are advised to follow government advice and self-isolate at home as needed.

Funeral Directors are being advised to have conversations with bereaved  families regarding the number of mourners at funerals, the type of funeral service being requested and the age profile of those expected to attend so that they can advise on the national social distancing guidelines and any restrictions on their services.

Cllr Stephen Adshead,  Trafford Council’s Executive Leader for Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change said:

This is a difficult but necessary decision in order to protect our residents and staff. We are of course sympathetic to the fact that this affects people at what is already an emotional and difficult time and we are doing everything we can to support bereaved families.  We have a strong working relationship with our Funeral Directors, ministers and clergy and we will ensure that these changes are dealt with in the most respectful way.

Like with many other services we are having to look at different ways to support delivery and so our bereavement team are offering recordings of the service so those unable to attend can still witness the service and pay their respect. And of course, we will be open to arranging memorial services at a later date when health guidelines allow.”

Posted on Tuesday 24th March 2020