Arranging the funeral 

Arranging a funeral can feel like a daunting task so give yourself time.

Most people will choose to engage a local funeral director to help them through the process. However you don’t need to and you can discuss what is involved with us if you need some guidance.

Remember, you are not obligated to have any kind of funeral service at all if this is not right for you and your family.

Using a funeral director 

  • Take time to find a funeral director who you are happy to work with, it is important that you find someone you can talk to and feel comfortable with. We suggest you ring several and meet more than one if you can.
  • Ensure you understand the full range of costs and that prices between funeral directors can vary quite a lot.
  • Decide how much you want the funeral director to do. Some are more flexible than others with the services they provide

Rainbow at Westmill

Doing everything yourself

For some people the correct course of action is to do everything personally. You are completely within your rights to do this and we at Westmill will support you as much as we can to help you make this happen.

If you wish to take this approach then we would suggest you plan as much as possible in advance.  Things to think about include:

  • How you are going to transport the deceased – What vehicle will you use? What container will you use if you need to collect them from a hospital mortuary?
  • Where will you keep the deceased while arrangements are being made for their final resting place? If it’s summer, how will you keep them cool?
  • Will you be able to cope with washing and dressing them ?
  • Do you have people who can help you with lifting and carrying?
  • Do you understand the legal requirements for registering the death and providing the correct paperwork required by crematoriums and burial grounds?
  • Do you know where to get a coffin or shroud from? Coffins ordered from the internet can be of varying quality and many providers do not supply to individuals. Check out the information on the Good Funeral Guide website and the Natural Death Centre for handy advice.  See resource list below.

Families who choose to do this often find it deeply rewarding and say it helps their grieving process but you must be sure it is right for everyone involved.   If you choose to make this journey without a funeral director we at Westmill will be happy to advise but please note we cannot provide staff or facilities in place of a funeral director and we do not sell coffins.

Coffin on Bier being pushed

Useful organisations and websites

The Good Funeral Guide
www.goodfuneralguide.co.uk/the-ceremony/american-caskets-bookcase-coffins/

The Natural Death Centre
01962 712690
www.naturaldeath.org.uk

Local Council Registration Services

Oxfordshire Registry Office Information
www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/deaths

Oxfordshire Registrar’s Guide www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/default/files/folders/documents/communityandliving/birthdeathmarriage/deaths/BereavementGuide2017.pdf

Wiltshire Registry Office Information
www.wiltshire.gov.uk/registrations-register-a-death

Gloucestershire Registry Office information
www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/births-marriages-deaths-and-civil-partnerships/register-a-death/

Pamphlets and information

"The fact we could organise a Celebration of Life just how we wanted, to say goodbye and respect his wishes was very important.  The day itself was amazing. Friends said I didn’t know you could do this sort of thing.  It was a day we will never forget." SR