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Arranging a Cremation


Cremation has become the preferred method of disposal in Britain. Approximately 72% of all recorded deaths are now followed by cremation. All Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, allow cremation. Cremation is also acceptable to Sikhs, Hindus, Parsees and Buddhists, but Orthodox Jews and Muslims forbid it.

Many people choose to appoint a funeral director to assist them with making their funeral and cremation arrangements, and are very grateful for their expertise and services. Funeral directors can give advice on all the procedures and documents needed to register the death.

Some people, however, for a variety of reasons, do not wish to use a funeral director and we can assist in facilitating this. They may feel that passing the body of a loved one over to a stranger is wrong, or some feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person. Others may simply wish to save money by doing everything themselves. For such ‘Personalised’ or ‘Independent’ funerals, arrangers use their own vehicles or suitable transport in lieu of a hearse.

We hope you find the following information useful, whether you decide to use a funeral director or not.

  • What paperwork do I need to complete?

    Your appointed funeral director or a member of the Bereavement Services Team can help you ensure that you have correctly completed all of the relevant paperwork ahead of the burial.

    At a minimum of 3 working days before a cremation (unless for cultural purposes), we need to be in possession of a fully completed Cremation Application form, a green disposal certificate and two Medical Certificates (Form 4 & 5) or a coroners certificate and, if you are using one of our chapels, a Memorial Service Preliminary Form.

    Please find these forms here: Our fees and forms

  • Where is the service held?

    We have a choice of 2 chapel at Cambridge Crematorium, the smaller East Chapel and the larger West Chapel. Please click here for more information.

    We can also offer families and friends the option of holding a funeral service for their loved one at Newmarket Road Chapel, in the grounds of Cambridge City Cemetery. Once the service ends and the families and friends have left the chapel, attendants will transport the deceased in the council’s private ambulance to the crematorium. For further information about holding a funeral service at Newmarket Road Chapel, please contact our Bereavement Services Team.

  • How long is a funeral?

    At Cambridge Crematorium, our funeral services have a maximum length of 30 minutes. We have 15 minute intervals between each of our funeral times in order for our chapel attendants to prepare the chapel for you.

    If you are having a service elsewhere and then coming to us for a committal only, you still have use of the chapel for 30 minutes, although you may finish sooner.

    It is also possible to arrange a cremation with no funeral service at all. As a mark of respect for the deceased, the coffin will still be accepted through one of our chapels.

  • What music can we play?

    We obtain our music through an external supplier called Wesley Media. They have an extensive library of tracks to choose from and are able to source some tracks which are not currently in their library if required.

    If you are using a funeral director, please inform them of your choices so that they can made sure it will be available for you. If you are not using a funeral director, please inform us of your choice and we will order it on your behalf.

    Wesley Media’s website can be found here: