When someone dies

When someone has passed away, there is a lot of organising to do. During these unprecedented times the normal processes have had to change but, wherever possible, we are working with families to carry out their wishes as much as we are able to. 

Cruse Bereavement Care in Greenwich offers support, advice and information for children, young people and adults when someone dies.

What happens when someone dies

If someone passes away, the doctor will complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) form. This will then be scanned and emailed to the Register Office. 

If someone passes away outside of hospital, a practitioner will visit the place of death, and issue and scan the legal documentation to the Register Office. The family can then contact their chosen Funeral Director to collect the deceased.

Registering a death

Families of a deceased person, whether they have passed away due to coronavirus or not, will be asked not to visit the Register Office to notify the death of their loved one in person. Instead, the hospital, hospice or GP will send us the paperwork electronically and include contact details for the family of the deceased. Registrars will then contact the family to arrange the death registration by telephone. 

Cremation and burial funerals

We understand how difficult this will be for the families and friends of lost loved ones, however as we ease out of lockdown, we recommend you still consider inviting close friends and family only, to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

There are two non-denominational chapels located at Eltham Crematorium:

  • West Chapel - seating for 72
  • North Chapel - seating for 100 

Both chapels have designated seating areas for vulnerable or high-risk mourners. Please, notify your funeral director any attendees at your service require this area.

Standing is allowed, however, we will continue to monitor this to ensure overcrowding does not take place. Excess mourners are requested to remain outside the chapel entrance and all attendees are asked to scan the QR code adjacent to the chapel entrance.

We reccommend that visitors should wear face coverings when in the chapels and adjacent buildings.

Those who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms must not attend.

For burial services, we recommend 30 at the graveside and any additional mourners will have to stand further away.

We ask everyone to follow hand hygiene before entering our chapels and give those who are clinically vulnerable or at high risk priority to the designated seating area.  

Hand washing facilities and toilets are available for you to maintain your hand hygiene when visiting our Cemeteries and Crematorium. Please note that Woolwich New Cemetery does not have toilets.

Before and after each service, staff will continue to clean and disinfect the area where the service has taken place, as well as frequently touched surfaces to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. 

Read more for a full list of the Funeral Standards.

Cemetery access 

Charlton, Eltham, Greenwich, Plumstead and Woolwich (new) will be open every day, from 9am to 4pm.

If you have any specific requirements regarding access, please call 020 8856 0100 or email parks@royalgreenwich.gov.uk to arrange an appointment.