Cremations

Cremations are the most popular choice to say goodbye to a loved one in the UK. Over 75% of funeral services are for cremations.

Following new government rules on reducing the spread of coronavirus, we have introduced a number of measures to protect mourners and staff at our cemeteries and funeral services. 

Read more about the changes to our services

Here to help

If you have any questions, you can contact the Bereavement Services team Monday-Friday, 8.00am-4.00pm.

Call us on 020 7926 4221 or send us an email.

Or, you can fill in our contact us form.

Services at our crematoria

We have two crematoriums, one in Tooting, known as Lambeth Crematorium, and the other in West Norwood, set within the grounds of one of the famed 'Magnificent Seven Cemeteries' of London.

Services at our crematorium are available throughout the week. We can arrange for cremations on the weekend by appointment.

Weekday services begin at 8.30am with the last service at 3.30pm.

The service time allocated is 45 minutes, however, this does include time for access and egress. This may leave 25 or 30 minutes for the actual service.

If you are expecting a large attendance or would like a longer service, then we would recommend that you consider an extended time slot. This can be in increments of 45 minutes to suit your needs.

Arranging a cremation yourself

Like burials, a cremation can be arranged without the need of a funeral director. The team can advise you and assist with completion of paperwork to enable you to organise this yourself.

The Lambeth Simple Funeral

Lambeth Bereavement Services can advise you or act on your behalf offering the Lambeth Simple Cremation.

The Lambeth Simple Cremation is a direct service arranged by our team to assist those who may be constrained by budget or may wish for a simple, dignified funeral.

The total fee is £1,440 and includes:

  • arranging the funeral
  • collection of the deceased into our care (within working hours)
  • medical papers (if required)
  • a suitable coffin for cremation
  • the cremation service itself, at a time convenient to both parties.

Contact us for more information about the Lambeth Simple Cremation.

Cremation fee

The cost of a cremation at West Norwood Crematorium (Lambeth may be available on request) includes:

  • use of the chapel facilities, chapel attendant and the playing of recorded music using MP3, CDs or from our online music Library (Obitus)
  • Medical Referee's fee
  • provision of one suitable container for the cremated remains and the scattering of cremated remains by appointment on a weekday.

View our crematoria fees and charges.

Forms to fill in

No cremation can take place until the required statutory forms have been completed, returned to us and authorised by our appointed Medical Referee.

Up to five forms have to be completed and you can download them from GOV.UK. We can arrange to post or email the forms to you, or your selected funeral director can provide these for completion.

If you are arranging the cremation of an infant, please contact us for guidance on the relevant required forms.

Application for cremation (Form 1)

This must be completed by the nearest surviving relative or executor. If this is not possible, it must be explained on the form why someone else has applied. The Medical Referee may conduct a check on this.

Medical Certificates (Forms 4 and 5)

If the death was not referred to the coroner, two medical certificates are needed to confirm the cause of death. The two medical certificates are known as Form 4 (Cremation medical certificate) and Form 5 (Confirmatory medical certificate).

Contact the doctor that attended to the deceased. Let them know that the body is to be cremated. The doctor will then complete Form 4 and arrange for another doctor to complete Form 5. Please note Form 5 is currently suspended under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and is currently not required.

There is a fee for each certificate which you pay to the doctor or hospital. Please ensure that the certificates are delivered to us in a sealed envelope and within three working days of the proposed cremation.

Coroners Certificate (Form 6)

This will be issued by the Coroner following a post mortem with or without inquest, and will take the place of Medical Certificates Forms 4 and 5. There is no fee for this certificate. Please ensure that the certificates are delivered to us in a sealed envelope and within three working days of the proposed cremation.

Authority to cremate

We will complete this form. This is usually incorporated on the reverse of the medical certificates and is known as Form 10. We will arrange for this to be signed by the Medical Referee.

The Medical Referee visits the crematorium to inspect all the documentation, and, if in order, they give written consent that a cremation can take place. Without this consent the cremation will not go ahead.

Options for cremated remains

Cremated remains can be:

  • scattered in our Gardens of Remembrance, or, with the permission of the grave owner, scattered on a grave (please speak to us before selecting this option as this may prevent any further interments within the plot)
  • interred in a grave or cremated remains plot, or placed in a Sanctum 2 (West Norwood) or Sanctum 2000 (Lambeth)
  • placed in a columbarium niche for a dedicated period of time (currently 10 years)
  • taken away to be scattered or buried elsewhere, or kept in your possession.

Funeral directors may also offer the choice to have some or all of the remains converted into gemstones, glassware, or vinyl records. Soluble containers to place on water are also becoming more popular.

If you wish to take the remains with you, we will provide a suitable container for them. All containers will be provided with the deceased's identity as well as a Certificate of Cremation. If you are giving the remains into the care of another cemetery or crematorium, they will ask for the certificate.

If you're planning to scatter the remains in a place favoured by the person who has died, such as a favourite walk, a football ground or at sea, you will need permission to do this. Please speak to us for guidance.

If you have no instructions or wishes for the cremated remains, we offer an option to hold for either one or three months from the date of cremation while a decision is made. If no decision is made, the cremated remains will be scattered in the Gardens of Remembrance.

Memorials

We offer a variety of memorials for cremated remains.

The Book of Remembrance is the most popular form of memorial, but we also have cremation plots, rose bushes and plaques.

View all of our memorials.