Coronavirus - Crematorium Services and Social Distancing Challenges

Submitted by Chris Tabor on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 14:46

If there is one time in your life that you need sensitivity from others, that surely must be at your husband’s funeral.

We all know Coronavirus is the unseen danger and needs to be handled correctly (face masks, social distancing and so forth) but what happened at Crownhill Crematorium in Milton Keynes on the 2nd October is a disgrace. At a time of distress, grieving and sheer sadness the last thing we need is someone telling us to social distance in a crematorium. 

James, the Funeral Celebrant appeared to understand and was praised for the job he did.  Whereas a member of the Crematorium team did not understand.

We all saw on national television news, social media and in the newspapers Craig Bicknell (the son of Alan Wright who died in September of a Heart Attack) wanting to comfort his upset mother.  He moved his ‘social distanced chair’ closer to her to give her a loving and reassuring arm around her shoulder. Craig’s brother Paul moved his chair closer.


Another man tried - but just as he was about to move, a member of the Crematorium team moved in, waving his hands, and saying,

'You can't move the chairs, you were told.' 

We all tend to bow down to authority and in most situations do as we are instructed.  But this act of stopping a Celebration of Life service was simply astonishing and, I think most people would agree, definitely not the right thing to do.

Craig commented on Facebook, 'We are absolutely heartbroken. Me and my brother haven’t been able to leave my mums side for two weeks as it is, being there for my mum, within her bubble.' 

Did the Funeral Director or the Crematorium ask any questions? They more than likely would have and instructed the grieving family the present ‘rules and regulations’ as laid down by Government.  But does this make it right what the Crematorium staff member did?

Students partying in close proximity in Halls of residence, revellers partying in the street after the 10:00pm lockdown curfew of bars and restaurants; we can all see this is wrong and a flagrant disregard for the safety of everyone let alone the rule of law.  However, a son moving closer to his mother to comfort her – with the coffin of her husband just a few feet away in front of her on the catafalque. Something is very wrong.

What do you think?