The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Crematorium to offer drop-off service

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Yup, history is made. As of 1 April 2012 the City of London crematorium is offering a drop-off service for direct cremationists, and those who have been waked at home, between 8 and 9 in the morning.

Hats off!

Our thanks to the lovely and brilliant Tony Piper for reporting this, and for the photo (© the Piper Foundation) of the relevant page of the brochure which he adduces as undeniable evidence. 

25 comments on “Crematorium to offer drop-off service

  1. Friday 6th April 2012 at 5:41 pm

    The first slot is very seldom used at most crematoria so doesn’t it make sence for the operators to make those slots, say 9 and 9-30, available to the growing number of people who do opt for a direct cremation or DIY funeral. Perhaps the likes of City of L and Mortlake in West London are just forward thinkers like Redditch and Durham are regarding reusing heat from the cremation process

    Just my 2d


  2. Saturday 31st March 2012 at 10:25 am

    What a wonderful Idea – Wakefield WMDC have a lot to learn.
    I hope this idea catches on in my area!

    Ian Howarth

  3. Saturday 31st March 2012 at 1:16 am

    @Andrew – I should have qualified it: I can see the City of London (or Chiltern) offering longer standard slots if they have enough ‘no service’ cremations to offset the lost income. I can’t imagine many privately-owned crematoria being in a hurry to offer any kind of drop-off service.

    @David – I gather many crematoria offer a discount for an early morning cremation, but they are still constrained by the slot system so it’s likely there are a fixed number of discounted cremations available per week.

  4. David Holmes

    Friday 30th March 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Mortlake in West London were offering a lower cost early morning cremation. It offered use of chapel as part of the deal, I think it was around £300, I will check and add to this thread.

  5. Friday 30th March 2012 at 4:17 pm

    It’s very true that, Charles. If Manor Park wasn’t such a pain to get to for 8am, it would open up the possibility of a direct cremation for (under) £1000. Food for thought indeed…

  6. Friday 30th March 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Andrew, how very, very good to see you back. Yes, crem charges are absurd. There are too many incinerators burning too few bodies. Time for rationalisation.

    Extraordinary, the scenario Tony paints: it’s cheaper to drive a body up from Devon than burn it locally.

  7. andrew plume

    Friday 30th March 2012 at 2:59 pm


    you mentioned………

    “…And perhaps the Crematorium slots will rise to 1 hour as standard……….”

    mmm, I can see Dignity in particular being less enthused with that approach but only if their high level of fees can be maintained

    and on our Dignity chums, I see that their interest/management/ownership in the Crem sector now stands at 36 sites, very impressive indeed and the number of sites, percentage wise, keeps on growing

    It’s a cash cow after all for them, what with the memorial and other add on’s which they’re particularly fond of

    Is it not time, for a serious review of Crem charges per se in the UK….? and for the launch of new low cost operators?


  8. andrew plume

    Friday 30th March 2012 at 2:32 pm

    excellent indeed – particularly in an area where there are plenty of Crem alternatives, i.e. the privately owned Manor Park, which is almost adjacent to ‘The Corporation’s’ said ‘City of L’ facility and Dignity’s East London offering, too


  9. Friday 30th March 2012 at 12:56 pm

    For me the most important aspect of this type of service is that it allows the FD (or DIY-er) to decouple themselves from the ‘slot’ system and thus create funerals which are the right length, at the right time and in a more appropriate place (something we’ve all been banging on about for years). No more processions getting stuck in traffic (and all the anxiety that causes) and no need for such a big fleet (rent it out to other FDs). The net result should be better funerals and, perhaps, lower cost. And perhaps the Crematorium slots will rise to 1 hour as standard. That’d be nice.

    It’s incredible (and slightly depressing) to think that it could be worth making the journey from Devon (especially if you were able to delay the trip for a few days and so maximise van occupancy). But why not?

    I wonder who’s next?

  10. David Holmes

    Thursday 29th March 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you – I’ll look at the picture next time.

  11. Jonathan

    Thursday 29th March 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for the definition of ‘church’, James; though I’d baulk at using the facility myself simply on the grounds of the presumptuousness of the name. COD gives ‘church’ as coming from the greek ‘kurios’, meaning ‘lord’. I was right – kurioser and kurioser. What with the architecture of most crematoria, the insistence on calling it a chapel if not a church, the lingering image of christian symbolry that infects funerality in general; it’s all still too much licking the arse of religion for my taste.

    A straight-through, back door job for a reduced fee though, with or without a preceding ceremony elsewhere; now there’s common sense for you. Where else can you burn a body? The monopolies commission should be invited to investigate cremation charges…

  12. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 10:29 am

    The ones around us still do not offer an option without service time, and again the prices (which go up in April) are now pushing £700.

  13. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:56 am

    Again, thank you, James. Chilterns sounds like a go-ahead crem. I think they were at the forefront of holding over in order to reduce their carbon footprint?

  14. James

    Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:53 am

    They have a particularly good self arranged section with downloads of all the necessary forms plus a family can take a deceased straight from place of death to them and they will hold onto them overnight (for a £21.85 fee).

  15. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:51 am

    Oh, right, Ru. Good to have that straight. I thought you also had to buy 15 mins or so with the package – a slot or a mini-slot.

  16. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:45 am

    Thank you, James — on both counts.

  17. James

    Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:44 am

    Chilterns crematorium has offered this facility for some time.

    The ‘church’ referred to is the building used for burial services within the City of London grounds. It is is the building that the service takes place in as opposed to a graveside service. A service could alternatively be held somewhere else outside the cemetery and then go straight to the graveside.

  18. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 9:01 am

    Charles, not sure if this is a historical moment, other crems do offer a slightly reduced fee for a non service drop off first thing in the morning.

  19. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 8:19 am

    I should have added that this service also favours those who do not wish to hold their farewell do in the crematorium.

    Next stage: anytime dropoff. Yes?

  20. Thursday 29th March 2012 at 7:50 am

    David, the fees are in the picture above.

  21. Jonathan

    Thursday 29th March 2012 at 7:23 am

    Thanks Tony – at £365 less than Plymouth or Torquay crematoria, it could even be worth the journey from Devon!

    Curious though, glancing down at ‘burials’, that a church service appears to be regarded as the default procedure. A typo, surely, with such an enlightened institution?

  22. Wednesday 28th March 2012 at 8:38 pm

    What a great idea, and at £285 it’s a bargain. Our local crem fee has just gone up to £651, regardless of whether you have a service or not.

  23. David Holmes

    Wednesday 28th March 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Good news indeed. Any idea on the fee? I would assume the normal charge is reduced.

  24. Wednesday 28th March 2012 at 5:23 pm


  25. Wednesday 28th March 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Lets hope its the start of a trend!

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