Coronavirus

Glasgow funeral director urges public not to delay funerals

A Glasgow funeral director is urging families not to delay funerals following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that rules for memorial services “remain sadly unchanged”.

Caledonia Cremation, which is owned by anti-poverty charity Community Renewal Trust – exclusively provides direct cremation to bereaved families across Scotland.

But, since the global Covid-19 pandemic began the funeral directors reported a rise in enquiries from people exploring safe ways to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

The company founder, John Halliday predicts that current regulations will act as a significant turning point in how funerals are delivered in Scotland going forward.

He said up until recently, direct cremations accounted for only one in 25 of all cremations and only 52% of people surveyed in the UK knew what a direct cremation was.

He said: “I do foresee that this will rise in this year’s statistics because of lockdown but more importantly for Scotland, I fully expect that after lockdown, more families will continue to use this as part of their funeral. 

“People are realising that a funeral isn’t all about the bit at the crematorium, but about working out for yourself what the best way to say goodbye is – whether it is part of the ashes scattering, in a chapel, in your home or on Zoom.”

He added: “These traditions mean families actually get more time to arrange the main memorial or celebration, we sometimes say ‘you wouldn’t arrange your wedding in 10 days, why rush a funeral celebration’. 

“For these reasons, it is safe to predict that we are going to see significant change in funerals, with more of these modern alternate options continuing well into 2021 and beyond in Scotland.” 

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