Funerals in Shropshire to continue on Monday - unless families want to postpone

Funerals will be going ahead as planned in Shropshire on Monday unless grieving families want to postpone them, it has been confirmed.

Undertakers in the county have confirmed that the decision on postponing ceremonies on the day of the Queen's state funeral is something that could be done at the request of bereaved families, but there is no blanket ban on them taking place.

Dignity, the company that runs cemeteries and crematoria in Telford and Shrewsbury has confirmed that ceremonies will be going ahead on Monday. They have been contacting families in advance to discuss their wishes.

The Monarch is head of the Church of England but the national and regional Lichfield Diocese, which includes parts of Shropshire, have both confirmed that funerals can go ahead in churches as planned.

A spokesman for the National Association of Funeral Directors said that nationally many funerals will go ahead and others are moving to a different date at the request of the bereaved families involved.

"In addition to some families asking to move a pre-booked funeral to avoid it taking place at the same time as the State Funeral, the fact that Monday has been declared a bank holiday means there will be vastly reduced public transport and other public services and schools will be closed – all of which will have an impact of people’s ability to attend a funeral.

"At the heart of every funeral service is a community of family, friends and neighbours coming together to mourn, to share stories about the person who has died and to support the grieving family. Therefore it is understandable that some families want to move to another date to make sure they can have the funeral they want for their loved one."

Funeral directors and managers of crematoria have been guided that decisions should be led by the needs and wishes of the bereaved families.

Leanne Kirkham-Garvey, of family firm Aubrey Kirkham Funeral Directors, said their branches in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Welshpool don't have ceremonies booked for Monday. But she said their policy would have been to speak to families about their wishes at an early stage.

In common with many Shropshire funeral directors Aubrey Kirkham's offices will be closed on Monday, but families who suffer loss on that day will still be able to talk to them on the phone.

"Our offices will be closed but we will still be operating," she said.

Victoria Allen Funeral Services, in Ludlow, said the situation was the same in the south of the county where families use the crematorium in Hereford. Services there are still going ahead.

A funeral director at a large business in Shrewsbury, who did not wish to be named, said they are leading services on Monday as no-one has requested a postponement.

"We are carrying on as normal and have funerals in place, just as we had following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales," he said.

A spokesperson for Dignity cemeteries and crematoria in Telford and Shrewsbury confirmed that both would be operating on Monday, although the offices will be closed.

"Our funeral directors have been contacting families with funerals taking place on the September 19 as a matter of priority to understand their wishes," said the spokesperson.

"We may find families choose to move the funeral to another date, which we will absolutely seek to accommodate and can look to rearrange this without further delay.

"If a family wishes to proceed with the funeral on this date, we are happy to accommodate where possible, and we will advise they check the availability of any related third parties on this day, including crematoria and cemeteries, caterers, venues for wakes or celebrations of life, ministers or celebrants."

The spokesperson said it was not too late for families to contact officials if they want to.

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: "Weddings, funerals and baptisms may continue as planned through the national period of mourning.

"Clergy should check with those planning these events whether they wish them to take place during this time.

"Particular sensitivity should be taken when reviewing those which are planned to take place on the day of the funeral."

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