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Crematorium and cemeteries

Last reviewed on 10 August

Face coverings required at Crematorium

As of Saturday 8 August, face coverings are now mandatory for residents attending a funeral ceremony at St Helens Crematorium, following new Government guidance.

Face coverings may be removed if you are delivering a reading or eulogy, as other coronavirus control measures will still be in place.

The wearing of face coverings does not replace the need for social distancing and regular hand washing.

Children under the age of 11 and people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability will be exempt from this requirement.

Funeral restrictions

Following the revision of the government guidance on gatherings, we have made some changes at St Helens Crematorium.

We have added some additional chairs and reserved the three front pews for four immediate family members from the same household or members of a support bubble. This has allowed for a maximum of 20 mourners in the chapel

Should the infection rate rise, resulting in a further lockdown, the crematorium and cemeteries will revert to 10 mourners only.

Other points to note:

  • A maximum of 30 people are permitted to attend grave-side burial services, observing social distancing.
  • In the chapel we have marked seats that mourners will be asked to use to maintain a safe social distance.
  • If you are self-isolating, vulnerable or showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should not attend a funeral service.
  • Orders of service and flowers can be brought but must be taken away at the end of the service.
  • Following church guidance, singing is currently prohibited.
  • Musicians invited to play during the service (e.g. bagpipers) should stay outside.
  • Hand sanitiser should be used at the entrance to the chapel and attendees should consider wearing face coverings as an additional precaution.
  • We will continue to clean the chapel between services.
  • Donation boxes should not be brought to the chapel, inside or outside.
  • Extended services in the chapel can now be booked.

Bereaved families are being asked to continue with funeral arrangements as normal during this unprecedented time.

Burial and cremation services, as well as registrar facilities, remain a key service provided by the local authority and St Helens Borough Council continues to offer as much support as possible to those who have lost their loved ones.

But please note that our offices remain closed and any enquiries should be made by phone or email.

Phone: 01744 677101 / 677405 / 677406 / 677407

Email: sthelenscrematorium@sthelens.gov.uk

Burial of ashes

St Helens Cemetery and Crematorium and Newton-le-Willows Cemetery resumed burying cremated remains on 22 June.

These ceremonies had sadly been put on hold as the service responded to greater demand in the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Ashes have been placed respectfully in the cemetery’s chapel during this time, or returned to funeral directors or the bereaved families.

Following the same restrictions as chapel ceremonies and burial services, a maximum of 10 people are permitted to attend the graveside for burial of ashes, adhering to social distancing guidelines.

If you wish to have ashes buried in St Helens or Newton-le-Willows cemeteries, please contact your funeral director.

Families will still have the choice to delay burial of ashes until a later date, so that they may be able to have larger ceremonies if and when social distancing allows.

Burial of ashes will remain under review, and could be suspended should service demand increase.

Crematorium webcasting

Residents who have lost loved ones in these unprecedented times may have experienced greater hardship than in normal life, under the necessary restrictions around funeral services.

But family and friends of the deceased are now able to join funeral services together online, as St Helens Borough Council has launched a webcasting service for cremation ceremonies.

All that is needed is an internet connection and a device that can display video, and the email invite to access the webcast. The webcasting service is being conducted via Microsoft Teams, so anyone wishing to use the service must have access to the free version of the app.


We are asking residents not to visit our cemeteries, other than for funerals and to care for their loved ones’ graves.

We would ask that you don't visit St Helens Cemeteries for your daily exercise, as there are still large numbers of visitors and dog walkers, making social distancing difficult.

When exercising outdoors, wherever possible please try to avoid areas like parks and the cemeteries – where there are still key workers at work – and where there are likely to be more people.

We've launched an online book of condolence for residents to upload photos, poems and memories of loved ones lost during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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