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FAQ's

How do I purchase a grave?

You can purchase a grave by coming into the Crematorium Office and selecting which plot you would like to buy. You can purchase a grave for full burials or for cremated remains.

What are the costs?

A grave for 1-2 full burials costs £784 for St Helens residents, and a grave for 3 full burials costs £970 for St Helens residents.

A cremation plot, holding 4 or 6 caskets (6 caskets only available at Newton Cemetery) costs £645 for St Helens residents.

How long do I own the grave for?

When you purchase a grave the lease is for 50 years. If after this initial period you need to use the grave again, you will need to renew the lease at a cost of £261 for a further 50 years for St Helens residents.

What happens if the grave owner dies?

When a grave owner dies and someone would like to take on ownership of the grave you would have to make a claim for ownership. The Bereavement Services team can help you with the necessary documents.

How many people can be buried in a grave?

Graves can be purchased for 1, 2 or 3 full interments. Cremation plots can be purchased for 4 or 6 interments.

What memorials are available?

After your loved one has passed away there are many ways you can commemorate them. You can purchase memorials for display at both Newton-le-Willows and St Helens cemeteries. Memorials available include entries in the Book of Remembrance, wall plaques and granite tablets, tree or bench leases.

Who is responsible for a grave memorial?

The maintenance of the garden area and any memorial on the grave is the responsibility of the grave owner. It is the responsibility of the grave owner to keep the Cemetery and Crematorium Office informed of any change of address for contact purposes, should the need arise to contact them.

As time goes by, the surface of the grave will settle down and drop, making mowing more diffcult. So from time to time the Council will, at its discretion addsoil to the grave and surrounding area to bring it back to a proper level. This is done without any cost to the grave owner.

What size headstone is allowed in the cemetery?

The maximum size for any memorial is 1016mm/40" (1118mm/44" including stone plinth) in height and 914mm/36" in width. The maximum depth of the memorial base is 304mm/12".

Double memorials are allowed, but these will be subject to an additional fee and must not exceed 1016mm/40" (1118mm/44" including stone plinth) in height and a maximum 1828mm/72" width.

Can I buy a memorial from a mason of my choice?

St Helens Council hold a list of registered stonemasons who carry out work in both St Helens and Newton-le-Willows Cemeteries. You may use one of these stonemasons to carry out the work you require.

If you feel that a stonemason that's not on our list should be added they can apply to be put on it. Any mason will have to be BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) registered or part of an equivalent scheme. Please contact the Bereavement Services team for more information.

What can I place on a grave?

If the owner of the grave wishes to plant a small garden at the head of the grave, then this is allowed, as long as the garden area does not exceed 610mm/24" from the headstone into the grave, nor does it exceed 914mm/36" in width. This area can be enclosed with small kerb edgings that are made of stone or wrought iron, and only small plants that will not reach a height greater than 18”/450mm on maturity shall be planted in this area.

It is the policy of the Council that all new graves (with the exception of section 89) are of the lawn type, where the headstone is placed on a foundation at the head of the grave and the main part of the grave is in the form of a level grass lawn. Therefore, kerbstones, chippings, pebbles, statues, windmills, toys, plastic trees and any other style of ornamentation are not allowed to be erected or placed upon or around the graves.

Sections 78 and 79 are the only sections within St Helens Cemetery where an extended garden is not permitted.

To apply for an extended garden, contact the Bereavement Services team.

What religious ceremony can I have and must there be a religious ceremony?

Religious services or ceremonies prior to cremation may be performed in the Crematorium Chapel. Alternatively the whole service may be conducted in a church or other religious building followed by a short commital ceremony performed at the Crematorium. It is the next of kin who decides what service, if any, will take place.

You do not have to have a religious ceremony, sometimes non-religious ceremonies take place. The Institute of Civil Funerals or Humanist Society can offer more information about how to arrange a non-religious service.

What happens during cremation?

Cremations will be carried out according to ‘The Code of Cremation Practice’, which has been set out by the Federation of British Cremation Authorities. St Helens Crematorium is a member of the FBCA. A copy of ‘The Code of Cremation Practice’ is available upon request.

What happens to the cremated remains?

A family member or the funeral director can pick up the cremated remains for private disposal. If you wish for the remains to be put into a casket then your funeral director or the Crematorium can arrange this. If no casket has been requested the remains will be released in a heavy duty cardboard box.

Cremated remains can be interred or scattered in St Helens and Newton-le-Willows Cemeteries.

For more information visit Arranging a Cremation.

Can I witness the committal of the coffin?

If representatives of the deceased person ask to see the coffin placed into the cremator, this will be permitted but will be limited to two persons only. This request must be made before the day of the funeral.

How do I know I will get the right remains?

Throughout the cremation process the deceased is assigned a unique cremation number, which is printed, along with the name of the deceased, on a card and this is with the deceased's coffin at all times. Only one coffin can be placed in the cremator at any one time and is kept separate throughout the cremation process so there can be no mix up of remains.

What is exhumation?

Exhumation is the removal of remains from the ground. This may be to transfer the remains to another site, or for other reasons.

What is a coroner?

Coroners are used to find out the cause of sudden or unexplained deaths. This usually involves a post mortem and inquest if the cause of death is not natural or in other circumstances.

Can you locate a relative’s grave for me?

If you come to the Crematorium Office we can help you to locate a grave by searching our records and providing you with a map of the cemetery. Alternatively you can search for a grave using our Deceased Search and printing off a copy of a cemetery map.

Why are graves dug so deep?

Graves need to be deep enough to allow the depth of coffins/caskets to be buried and allow the legal requirement of soil between each coffin and the amount of earth to cover the last interment.

How do I register a death?

You can register a death at St Helens Register Office. Any death that takes place in St Helens must be registered in St Helens. A death is usually registered within 5 days of the date of death.