Dudley Bereavement Services
INTRODUCTION We know just how difficult a time it can be when someone close to us dies. The feelings of shock, sadness, loss and bewilderment can take over our lives. It is also a time when there are so many things to be done, just when we feel least able to do them. In the guide we give you all the information we know you are likely to need in the next few weeks and months. We suggest what the first priorities are and explain how, when, and where you register the death. We let you know what is required and what your choices are relating to funeral arrangements and memorialisation. We aim to provide a sympathetic, helpful and considerate service to help you make the necessary decisions and arrangements when someone dies. It is important to us that you have the best and clearest information and guidance to make sure that the arrangements you make are the ones that are best for you, your family, relatives and friends.
What must you do when someone dies? When someone dies, you will need to inform a number of people and organisations and complete certain documents needed by law. If you are a relative or friend you can do some of these things yourself. Others will need to be done by the executor or administrator of the estate. There is plenty of support available to help you through this difficult time.
What to do in the first few days You won't be able to do everything right away, but in the first few days it's important, if you can: • tell the family doctor. • contact a funeral director, if you intend to use one. If the death occurs at home or in a nursing home the funeral director will need to be contacted to move the deceased to a Chapel of Rest. • begin arrangements for the funeral - you should check the Will for any special requests. • obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death signed by a doctor or if the coroner is involved take instructions from the coroner's officers regarding registration of the death. • register the death at the Register Office. • if relevant, complete the reverse of the white BD8 form and send to the local Jobcentre Plus or Benefits Agency (given when you register the death). As early as possible: • contact the executor as soon as you can to enable him/her to start the process of obtaining probate if necessary. The executor is usually nominated in the will. • if there is no will, decide who will apply to sort out the deceased's affairs and contact the Probate Registry to apply for 'letters of administration' if necessary.
Documents you will need in the first few days You'll need to gather together the following documents as soon as possible - to enable registration of the death and to start funeral arrangements.
Documents • • • • •
Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, signed by a doctor unless the coroner is involved and there has been a coroner's post mortem. birth certificate. * marriage/civil partnership certificates. * NHS Number/NHS Medical Card. * organ donor card (if appropriate).
* - Please note it is not necessary to have these documents but you will need to provide information contained within them, e.g. date and place of deceased's birth, spouse/civil partner's full name, etc.
Dudley Registrar Office
HOW TO REGISTER A DEATH You will need to make an appointment to register a death before you come to the office. Please contact Dudley Council Plus on 01384 812345. Lines are open from 8am - 6.00pm on weekdays and 9am â€“ 12noon on Saturdays. The death will have to be registered in the Registration District where the death actually occurred. The registration should be done within 5 days. If the person who is legally required to register the death is unable to attend the relevant Register Office, they can register the death by declaration at another, more convenient, Register Office. This means they would give the relevant information to that Registrar who would post it to the Registrar in the District where the death occurred to be entered in the register. Persons choosing to do this must understand that posting documents from the registering Registrar may delay the funeral arrangements by a few days. There are offices situated at: Dudley Registrar Office Priory Lane Priory Park Dudley West Midlands DY1 4EU
Stourbridge Registrar Office Crown Lane Stourbridge West Midlands DY8 1YD
Both offices have wheelchair access, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. Stourbridge office has a baby feeding room.
HOW TO REGISTER A DEATH CONTINUED... How to Register a death - Information needed It is advisable for a relative of the person who has died to register the death. If there are no relatives, other people can register the death. Those people may include someone present at the death, a senior administrator of the establishment in which the death happened, or the person instructing the funeral director. You should allow about 30 minutes to register the death, however, in some cases registration may take longer. The registrar will need the following information. • • • • • • • • •
The date and place of death. The full name of the person who has died (and maiden name if appropriate). Their place and date of birth. Their occupation. The full names of her husband if she was a married woman or a widow. The usual address of the person who has died. Whether they received a pension from public funds. If they were married, the date of birth of their husband or wife. You should give the National Health Service number of the person who has died, if known, or the medical card itself, if available, to the registrar. (Please do not delay registering the death if you do not have the medical card).
After the death has been registered, two certificates will be issued. • •
A certificate for burial or cremation (known as the green form). This is for you to take to the funeral director so that the funeral can take place. In some circumstances this is issued by a coroner. A certificate of registration of death (form BD8/344). This is for social security purposes. If any of the information applies, fill it in and return it to your local Social Security Office.
HOW TO ARRANGE A FUNERAL What are your rights under the law? The main legal requirements in England and Wales are: •
the death has to be certified by a doctor or coroner.
the death is registered with a registrar of births, marriages and deaths.
the body should either be cremated or buried.
there is no legal requirement to have any kind of funeral ceremony.
What choices do you have for the funeral? A funeral can be either by burial or cremation. You can organise the funeral with or without the help of a funeral director and personalise it as much as you wish. In some cases the deceased may have planned their own funeral in advance. There are many different types of funeral and it is useful to remember that: • • • •
you you you you
can decide for yourself what type of ceremony you would like. do not have to use a funeral director - though the vast majority of people do. can choose a religious, humanist or civil ceremony. can choose a ceremony that reflects any religious beliefs or multi-cultural traditions.
BEREAVEMENT SERVICES Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council’s Bereavement Services provide a caring, sensitive and high quality service for people at a difficult time in their lives. Losing a loved one presents many challenges. Bereavement Services staff can give helpful advice and guidance about all aspects of funerals and memorials. Dudley MBC is responsible for the management and operation of two crematoria – Gornal Wood and Stourbridge and seven cemeteries. Each crematorium has an office on site where the public can visit and receive a high standard of service from our dedicated staff. The Gornal Wood office is located next to the cemetery exit gate on Chase Road. The Stourbridge office is located next to the cemetery exit gate on South Road. Bereavement Services staff take pride in the fact that all funerals conducted at either of the two crematoria or seven cemeteries are carried out with the utmost respect and reverence for both the deceased and the bereaved. Any special or cultural requests made at the time of arranging a funeral will, where possible, be carried out. This brochure introduces the crematoria and cemeteries administered by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and provides details of where to find further information and advice.
Bereavement Services contact details : Gornal Wood Crematorium Chase Road Gornal Wood Dudley West Midlands DY3 2RL Tel : 01384 813970 Fax : 01384 813971
Stourbridge Crematorium South Road Stourbridge West Midlands DY8 3RQ Tel : 01384 813985 Fax : 01384 813986
Both offices are open between the hours of 9:00am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday (closed during Bank Holidays). E-mail : Bereavementsvcs.firstname.lastname@example.org Website : www.dudley.gov.uk
ACCESS TO FACILITIES AND SERVICES OFFERED Opening and Closing times The crematoria and cemetery grounds are open from: 9:00am – 4:30pm during the months of November to March and from: 9:00am – 6:00pm during the months of April to October.
Book of Remembrance The Book of Remembrance room is open between the hours of: 9:00am – 4:00pm during the months of November to March and from: 9:00am – 5:30pm during the months of April to October. The Book is opened on the appropriate date each morning, however if you are unable to attend on that day, we can on request, turn the page to the required day.
Cremation Services Eleven cremation service times are offered each day, Monday to Friday. The first time offered is 9:00am with the last time being 4:10pm. We ask that arrangements are made to ensure the service does not exceed thirty minutes. If you would like a longer service a double time can be booked. Your Funeral Director will discuss this with you.
Burials Burials can take place between the hours of: 9:30am and 3:00pm Monday to Friday during the months of February to October and from: 9:30am and 2:30pm during the months November to January.
Early times of the day are used for the burial of cremated remains.
THE CREMATORIA Gornal Wood Crematorium is situated off Coopers Bank Road, Gornal Wood, Dudley and adjoins Gornal Wood Cemetery. Stourbridge Crematorium is situated off South Road, Stourbridge and is located within the grounds of Stourbridge Cemetery. Both crematoria feature a chapel, a public waiting area, toilets and a Book of Remembrance room which is situated at the rear of each building. The wreath terraces, where floral tributes are displayed following a funeral service are located to the side of each chapel along with a nearby flower room. All facilities are fully accessible and comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. We provide a hearing loop system in the chapels for those who have a hearing aid and hymn books are available in large print. The cemetery and crematorium environment intends to create an atmosphere of reverence and respect, to make the often difficult occasion of attending a funeral or viewing a memorial, as consoling as possible. The use of the chapel is included within the cremation fee and it can be used for either a Full or Committal service. The chapel at Gornal Wood can seat 84 people with room for an additional 120 people standing. The chapel at Stourbridge can seat 78 people with standing room to accommodate a further 50 people. Both crematoria have external speakers to enable people attending large funerals to stand outside and listen to the service. Each chapel has an organ with a resident organist and there is also the facility to play CDs and tapes. Following the service, floral tributes are placed out on the wreath terrace for viewing and will remain there for a period of one week. The type of funeral service and the manner in which it is to be conducted are entirely a matter of personal choice.
FUNERAL SERVICES AND MUSIC The Arrival and Service On arrival at the chapel, it is usual for the coffin to be transferred from the funeral vehicle to the catafalque (this is the raised area within the chapel where the coffin is positioned whilst the service takes place). The coffin remains on the catafalque during the service. Mourners will follow the coffin into the chapel and take their seats for the start of the service. At the end of the service mourners leave the chapel by the exit door which leads on to the wreath terrace where any floral tributes will have been placed.
Music Music can be a very important part of a funeral service and can provide a fitting background for private thoughts about the deceased. The chapels are equipped with an organ and resident organists can play a wide variety of hymns, classical and modern music. CDs and tapes can also be provided by the family for playing during the service. It is common for music to be played on entry and exit, with either hymns being sung or songs being played during the service. You may choose entirely popular music and classical music, hymns, or a combination. Advice will be given by your Funeral Director as to the most appropriate time for music to be played.
CREMATED REMAINS & GROUNDS Cremated remains Following the funeral service the coffin is transferred to the crematory area where the cremation will take place. There are various options for the final resting place of the cremated remains (otherwise known as ashes) such as strewing, burial in a grave, placing in an above ground columbarium or taking home. Bereavement Services staff or your Funeral Director will be able to advise you of the options and it is recommended that you give careful consideration to your choice.
After the cremation Following the cremation, there are a number of options available for you to consider. Collection of Cremated remains Arrangements can be made for the Funeral Director or other agreed representative to collect the cremated remains for them to be taken elsewhere or to keep until a decision can be made. Cremated remains are available for the applicant to collect from the crematorium from 10:00am on the day after the cremation service has taken place. If the remains are to be taken to a cemetery outside the borough and managed by another Authority, a Disposal Certificate will be required which can be arranged via your Funeral Director.
Burial Cremated remains can be interred within a dedicated plot or in a full grave with other deceased relatives. It is also possible for remains to be scattered (under the turf) but this may result in no further burials being able to take place within the grave. In all instances, written permission from the grave owner is required before the cremated remains can be buried or strewn.
STREWING IN GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE Gornal Wood Crematorium The seasonal Gardens of Remembrance at Gornal Wood are located at the rear of the crematorium and are divided into Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn gardens. Cremated remains are scattered in the relevant seasonal garden depending on when the cremation took place. A specific location or garden can be requested when the funeral arrangements are made if, for example you would like the remains to be scattered in the same location as the remains of someone who has previously been scattered. The pond is a central feature of the gardens at Gormal Wood and many families find the peaceful, tranquil setting comforting.
Stourbridge Crematorium There are two separate memorial gardens at Stourbridge crematorium, commonly referred to as the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ gardens. Strewing of cremated remains can take place in either garden and you can specifically request your preferred garden. Again, this is something you would need to confirm through your Funeral Director. In order to preserve the aesthetic appearance of the gardens and to allow the grounds to be maintained, the Authority respectfully requests visitors to refrain from placing personal articles, vases, individual shrubs and plants within the grounds and to place cut flowers only in areas provided.
Columbarium Above - ground columbarium niches are available at both Gornal Wood and Stourbridge crematoria. This facility offers an alternative to the formal burying or strewing of cremated remains, as they are placed in an attractive niche which has a memorial plaque positioned at the front. Stourbridge The columbarium niches are leased for a set period after which time the lease can be extended. The design and capacity for columbarium niches vary at each site. Gornal Wood – columbarium niches can hold up to four sets of cremated remains. Stourbridge – columbarium niches can hold up to two sets of cremated remains.
A flower room is provided at each crematorium for floral tributes to be placed. During extremely busy times of the year e.g. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas, it is necessary to relocate floral tributes on a daily basis, to allow new ones to be placed in the room. As not all flowers can be accommodated inside, it is wise to consider tributes which will withstand outdoor temperatures, for example holly wreaths at Christmas and pot chrysanthemums in spring.
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE & OTHER MEMORIALS Whether or not to dedicate a memorial in memory of a loved one is entirely a matter of personal choice. For those who find they may gain comfort from having a memorial, the following options are available at both Gornal Wood and Stourbridge crematoria.
Book of Remembrance The Book of Remembrance is situated in a specially provided room close to the chapel. A permanent inscription can be put in the Book to commemorate a loved one, with pages allocated to each day of the year. The Book at Stourbridge also offers the facility to accommodate a badge or crest if requested. Inscriptions are usually placed within the Book on the date of death but can be entered for any other date if requested. The page is turned each morning so that relatives may view the entry on a specific date each year. If you are unable to view the Book on a specific date, the staff can turn the pages to the appropriate date upon request. An appointment will need to be made if this is required on a weekend.
Memorial Seats (Benches) Memorial Seats are subject to availability but can be placed in a variety of locations around the crematoria and adjoining cemeteries. Each seat comes with a bronze plaque allowing for a personalised inscription to a loved one, with the option for additional plaques to be added over the period of the fixed term lease. Maintenance of the seat is carried out by the council.
Memorial Trees Memorial trees are pre-planted and give families the opportunity to have a memorial plaque placed besides them. The trees are situated in the Gardens of Remembrance at Gornal Wood crematorium and around the pathways of Stourbridge crematorium. The plaques at Gornal Wood crematorium come in two colours - black or grey, and allow for a motif to be added to an inscription if requested. A plaque can commemorate inscriptions for up to two people. At Stourbridge crematorium, the plaques are gold in colour and do not have the option to add a motif. However, up to three plaques can be placed by a tree to commemorate loved ones. All memorial trees are leased for a period of ten years and the council accepts responsibility for the trees care including free replacement if necessary.
Memorial Plaques A range of plaques are available at each crematorium that offer a varying style of inscription and personalisation. All plaques are leased for an initial fixed period, after which time an opportunity to renew is offered.
THE MEMORIAL PLAQUES Gornal Wood Crematorium Granite Wall Plaques (right) The plaques are made from polished granite and are fixed to memorial walls surrounding the flower terrace. Available in two sizes, single or double, they can be purchased in black, grey or red granite. A single granite wall plaque can accommodate up to 3 lines of inscription, whilst a double can accommodate up to 7 lines. At the base of each granite wall is a flower trough for the placing of floral tributes.
Memorial Roses A selection of bush and standard roses are available in a variety of colours with the right to place a memorial plaque beside the rose. Additional plaques may be added to enable loved ones to be commemorated together. Again, this memorial option is leased for a fixed period with an option to renew when the lease period expires.
Bronze Wall Plaques (right) The cast plaques are situated in three locations at the crematorium the chapel exit corridor, flower room and Book of Remembrance room.
Stourbridge Crematorium Granite Planter Plaques (below) Octagonal granite planters are located in the New Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium. On the face of each side of the planter are black granite plaques. These plaques can accommodate an inscription of up to 3 lines and also allow for the addition of a small photograph or motif if required. Each side of the planter has six flower holes at the bottom for small floral tributes to be placed.
Slate Wall Plaques (right) The plaques are made from Welsh slate and are fixed to memorial walls behind the flower terrace at the crematorium. They are available in two sizes, single or double. A single slate wall plaque can accommodate up to 3 lines of inscription, whilst a double can accommodate up to 7 lines.
CEMETERIES AND BURIAL SERVICES There are seven cemeteries administered by Dudley Bereavement Services: Gornal Wood Chase Road Gornal Wood Dudley DY3 2RL Opened 1954
Dudley Stourbridge Road Queens Cross Dudley DY1 2DA Opened 1904
Brierley Hill Addison Road Brierley Hill DY5 3RT Opened 1926
The above cemeteries are administered from the Gornal Wood office. Stourbridge South Road Stourbridge DY8 3RQ Opened 1879
Cradley Homer Hill Cradley B63 2UP Control passed in 1966
Halesowen Hales Road Halesowen B63 4AP Opened 1859
Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Road Lye Stourbridge DY9 2AN Opened 1876
The above cemeteries are administered from the Stourbridge office. Most of the cemeteries have space available for full and cremated remains burials and to pre-purchase for the future. The records for each cemetery and crematorium are maintained at the offices listed above.
Burial Services All cemeteries in the borough have capacity for burial apart from Halesowen. A grave is allocated for each burial as required or families have an option to pre-purchase. Graves provided for full burials can be for up to one, two or three interments with the right to affix a memorial and first inscription included in the purchase fee. Any personal items such as vases or ornaments must be placed either on the headstone area of the grave or in front of the memorial not extending more than 12 inches. This is to help us maintain the cemetery sections easily when grass cutting and also to ensure there are no tripping hazards for the public and staff. Within the cemeteries are designated areas reserved for cremated remains, baby, woodland and Muslim graves.
Cremated Remains Graves Each grave can accommodate up to four sets of remains which can be interred in a wooden casket an urn or polytainer. A memorial stone can also be erected on the grave although the size allowed is smaller than memorials permitted on full earth burial areas. Cremated remains interments can be accommodated at all cemeteries including Halesowen.
Baby Graves Sections are reserved for babies and allow for a memorial to be placed at the head of the grave with the option for small sets of kerbs.
Woodland Graves This type of grave is only available at Gornal Wood cemetery. Graves are for single interments and are commonly referred to as a green burial. Typically coffins buried are either wicker or cardboard. The area is a completely natural site with no headstone or other memorialisation allowed. A tree is planted at the head end of the grave after 18 months to enable families to support this as a living memorial of their loved one.
CEMETERIES & BURIAL SERVICES CONTINUED... Muslim graves A section has been set aside for burial at Brierley Hill and Lye & Wollescote cemetery for the Muslim community, where graves are for a single interment and face Mecca. Graves on these sections are classed as traditional and allow for a headstone with kerbs if required. Unfortunately there are no facilities for the washing and dressing of bodies on site so this must be carried out prior to arriving at the cemetery.
Cemetery memorials Following a burial it is possible for a headstone - which complies with the councils regulations, to be erected at the head end of the grave space for a fixed period, providing the grave has been purchased. A permit application must be submitted by an accredited Memorial Mason - approved by the Council, prior to a memorial being erected. As ground needs to settle memorials cannot be erected within six months of burial. The only exception to this is on the new section at Gornal Wood where concrete rafts (rather than slabs) are positioned to accommodate memorials. The rafts can accommodate memorials immediately after burial if required.
GENEALOGY & REMEMBRANCE SERVICES Genealogy Cremation and burial records are now available to view online. The site can be accessed by visiting www.dudley.gov.uk and clicking on the A to Z section of services and following the Bereavement link. The site is periodically updated to ensure the records are as up to date as possible.
Remembrance Services Services of remembrance are held at both crematoria each year and anyone is welcome to attend. At Gornal Wood crematorium, services are held in the summer and at Christmas. At Stourbridge, a service of remembrance is only held at Christmas. The services are particularly appropriate where the funeral of a relative or friend has taken place at the crematorium. Notices advertising the dates of services are placed in local newspapers nearer to the date of the service and posters are put up around the crematorium buildings. Alternatively you can enquire at the crematorium offices to find out the date of the services.
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Acknowledgements Brochures UK would like to thank all the advertisers that have kindly participated in the production of this brochure. The support you have offered to the Gornal Wood & Stourbridge Crematoriums and The Dudley Council Cemeteries is greatly appreciated. Dudley Council have compiled this brochure to help and guide the bereaved families through what can be a hard and difficult time, and we feel that these brochures are there to help them during this sad time. We hope that you will be rewarded for your help and support and that we will be able to call on your support again in the future.
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Gornal Wood Crematorium, Chase Road, Gornal Wood, Dudley, West Midlands, DY3 2RL Stourbridge Crematorium, South Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 3RQ Published by Brochures UK, 40 Rockburgh Crescent ,Preston, PR4 5RD Tel: 01772 498366