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. 

Chapels at the crematorium

We understand how difficult this will be for the families and friends of lost loved ones, however as we are still experiencing high levels of Coronavirus, we recommend you still consider inviting only close friends and family, to reduce the risk of spreading infection. If any of the mourners are vulnerable or at a high-risk of infection, please notify the Funeral Director who will guide them to the designated seating area inside the chapel. We recommend watching the service via a webcast, this can be arranged by the Funeral Director.

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

  • West Chapel, with seating for 68
  • North Chapel, with seating for 100 

Please note:

  • When all the seats inside the chapels have been taken we strongly advise all additional mourners to remain outside the chapel entrance to prevent overcrowding
  • Both chapels have designated seating areas for vulnerable or high-risk mourners. You must notify your funeral director of any attendees that may require this seating area.

For more information please click here. 

Face Coverings and hand hygiene

We strongly advise all mourners to wear a face covering inside our chapels and adjacent buildings.

Masks are available in the chapel foyer or from the main office opposite the West Chapel, for those who have forgotten theirs.

Hand sanitiser is available outside the chapel entrance, in the chapel foyer as you enter, and by the exit doors when leaving. Hand washing facilities and toilets are available for you to maintain your hand hygiene when visiting our crematorium.

Staff continue to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. 

Thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

Those who are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms must refer to the government guidelines:

If you are a close family member you may wish to consider watching the service via a webcast, this can be arranged with the Funeral Director.

If you wish to attend the service in person then please contact the Crematorium so we can provide you with our latest “Enhanced Covid Measures”, please note our enhanced measures include the reduction of Mourners to 10 to ensure a safe distance is maintained at all times and provide safe access for all when entering the chapel, whilst inside and exiting.

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.