Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions can be found below:
All funeral ceremonies and services held at Stockton-on-Tees Crematorium take place in one of our two superbly finished Maplewood or Bluebell chapels. We provide a full hour for all ceremonies, which will allow you ample time for a personal and meaningful funeral, enabling family and friends to commemorate their loved one in a dignified manner.
The type of ceremony you choose will obviously depend upon your own beliefs and those of your loved one, and the question of whether the service should be religious or celebratory in nature is for you to decide.
We welcome all faiths. Both of our chapels have been designed to provide an air of rest and tranquillity, and offer a fitting environment to hold a full funeral service. Alternatively, if you prefer, you may choose to hold the main service at your own place of worship first, with a short committal service following afterwards in one of our chapels.
Maplewood and Bluebell chapels are similarly appropriate for holding civil ceremonies, conducted by a Civil Funeral Celebrant, to celebrate the life of a loved one.
Both of our chapels are equipped with high specification digital media systems, which will allow access to a wide range of music, and also display photographs or video images. In addition, Maplewood chapel is fitted with a traditional organ. All of these facilities are provided to enable you to further enhance the character of your ceremony.
We would also add that there is no legal requirement to hold a service of any kind, and if you would prefer to simply arrange the cremation itself, this can be easily done.
Before a cremation may take place, it is necessary to complete a number of statutory forms and present them to the Crematorium.
For convenience, many families choose to use the services of a funeral director to assist them in the completion of these forms, and to make booking arrangements with the Crematorium.
However, there is no legal requirement to use a funeral director, and it is perfectly acceptable for a family to make arrangements with the Crematorium themselves. If you wish to do so, then our Bereavement Services staff will be happy to advise and assist you.
As a responsible Cremation Authority, we do have an obligation to consider the local environment and community. By running our equipment at peak efficiency, we consume less fossil fuel, with a corresponding reduction in environmental impact.
Under normal circumstances we will therefore carry out most cremations on the day of the service, and usually shortly after its conclusion. However, if a service takes place late in the day, or when only a small number of services have been booked, the cremation may sometimes be deferred. This will enable us to operate our equipment as efficiently as possible.
If a cremation is not going to be carried out on the same day, we will, of course, notify you. During this period we will carefully look after the coffin in our secure storage facility.
No. We carry out each cremation separately, and our cremators will accept only one coffin at a time.
The only exception to this rule would be in the case of a mother and baby, or small twin children, provided that the next of kin or executor has made this specific request.
Yes, always. You may rest assured that once your loved one is left in our care, the coffin will not be opened or disturbed in any way. The coffin, containing the body, will be placed in the cremator without any interference from anyone.
No, never. We will always cremate the entire coffin (including handles) and the body inside together.
Yes, certainly. Stockton-on-Tees Crematorium has a viewing room with a window overlooking the crematory, from where you may witness the committal taking place.
If you would like to witness the committal, then this can easily be arranged when booking the cremation, and our staff will then make the necessary preparations for the day of the service.
Our cremators can only accept one coffin at a time, and we always carefully remove all the ashes, before we begin the next cremation.
Following removal, we have robust procedures in place (including the use of an identity card system) which are applied at each and every stage of the cremation process, and which enable us to correctly identify each individual set of ashes in our care, at any point in time.
The decision as to what should ultimately happen to the ashes is one for you and your family to make, and there are a number of options for you to think about.
At Stockton-on-Tees Crematorium, we offer the scattering of ashes in our Garden of Remembrance, or you may have them placed in one of our above-ground niches. Full details of these services can be found on our website, or obtained from a member of our Bereavement Services staff.
There is no facility to bury ashes at the Crematorium. However, it is open to you to make arrangements for a burial in a cemetery, possibly in an existing family grave that is full for coffined burials. Alternatively you may be able to purchase a new cremated remains grave in a cemetery.
This decision need not be hurried, and it may take some time before you make up your mind. If you do need time to think, you may keep the ashes yourself, or leave them in our care.
Yes, by all means.
In answering these questions, we hope to have provided reassurance as to the most common misconceptions and concerns surrounding the cremation process. However, if you would like further peace of mind, or if you are simply interested to see how the Crematorium operates, we would be pleased to show you around.
If you would like to visit, please contact Bereavement Services.