Kemnal Park Cemetery is believed to be the first in the country to offer a live 4G video feed of funeral services directly from the graveside.
The package, which is aimed at friends and family who live abroad and are unable to travel, or those who are infirm and unable to leave their home, means a cameraman will be present at the service, streaming video live over the high-speed 4G network used by smartphones.
Mourners can watch and listen to the broadcast by logging on to a password-protected website on a PC, mobile phone or tablet computer, with the £450 charge including a professional cameraman, equipment and the wireless 4G data charges.
Some cemeteries and crematoria already offer live streaming from within the chapel using fixed cameras and a wired broadband connection. However, bosses at Kemnal Park believe that “this is the first time families have been able to request a wireless, graveside recording with a roaming camera.”
Michael Burke, operations director at Kemnal Park, said: “Our new 4G service is as close as you can get to a funeral service without actually being there. We are taking advantage of the latest technology to beam high quality video and audio around the world in real-time. It is ideal for friends and family who are unable to travel to Kemnal Park but still wish to pay their respects.”
Mr Killick, who conducted the first streamed service, said: “There are times when it can be impractical for some family members to attend a funeral at short notice. That may be because of distance or their own health. But just about everywhere now has access to the internet, so we see this ‘virtual service’ as an excellent extra option to be able to offer a family.”