Greenwich

Eltham Crematorium

What happens during a cremation

At a cremation, mourners will normally gather at the crematorium in the waiting room or close to the entrance of the chapel a few minutes before the funeral service starts. When the principal mourners are ready, the coffin will be taken into the chapel by the funeral director, unless family bearers are used by request.

The coffin will then be placed on a platform and mourners will be directed to their seats, after which the service will start.

At the moment during the service when the committal of the body takes place, the coffin may be hidden from view by curtains.

At the end of the service, the mourners leave the chapel and may then view the floral tributes.

The cremation will usually be started shortly after the service. In order to comply with industry-specific codes of practice, all cremations are normally carried out within 24 hours of the funeral service.

Cremation process

With advance notice, up to six people may view the coffin being placed in the cremator.

We have a special room for this purpose, called the committal room. For safety reasons, the process is viewed from behind a glass screen.

After a cremation, the cremated remains are removed and taken to a treatment area in a special container. Ferrous metals used in the construction of the coffin or metal used in medical implants are extracted and retained for separate disposal. Non-ferrous metals, which may include an unrecognisable element of precious material, will not be salvaged for any purpose and will be disposed of in accordance with the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management's (ICCM) recycling of metals following cremation scheme. 

Further details of the scheme are available from the crematorium office.

The cremation of an adult will normally result in cremated remains weighing between two and four kilograms. The cremation of infants can result in no remains.

The crematorium chapels

Any kind of funeral service may be conducted at the crematorium chapels, which can be booked in blocks of half an hour. Anyone you choose can conduct the service.

You may also choose to arrange your own service elsewhere, and simply have a brief committal ceremony at the crematorium.

We will be happy to arrange an accompanied visit to our facilities. Please contact our staff to make arrangements.