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.

The following matters can be discussed in more detail with our Bereavement Services team, who can also accompany you on a visit to the crematorium.

  • Go to the Cambridge Crematorium page to find out what happens on the day of a funeral there.
  • Go to the Cambridge Crematorium page to download necessary forms to make arrangements for a cremation.

Selecting cremation as the method of disposal

Clear written instructions should be given to the person who will be responsible for making the funeral arrangements.

Such instructions are not binding in law and it will therefore be necessary to ensure that the person instructed is someone who is likely to carry out the wishes of the deceased. The final decision will rest on the Executors.

Is cremation more expensive than burial?

No. Generally the cost of burial is higher than the fee charged for cremation.

Cremation usually requires medical certificates, for which there is a fee payable to the doctors providing the certificates. However, these certificates are not required if the death has been referred to and investigated by a coroner or when a burial is required.

There may be other costs associated with both cremation and burial, including memorials, buying of a grave plot and their maintenance.

Go to our fees for Cambridge cemeteries and crematorium for a list of fees for funeral and burial services.

When do relatives need to decide about the disposal of ashes?

The funeral director will discuss the alternative arrangements, which may be adopted for the disposal of ashes.

A ‘form of authority’ must be signed advising the crematorium of the wishes of the family. If the family are undecided, the ashes can be held at the crematorium or at the funeral director’s premises, until a decision is made.

Options for the disposal of ashes

Our crematorium has a garden of remembrance where ashes can be scattered. We also offer a range of memorial options for a lasting symbol of remembrance.

Ashes can be taken from the crematorium for disposal elsewhere. This might include placing in a grave at a cemetery, scattering at another crematorium or privately in a particular area selected by the family. Suitable permission should be obtained from the appropriate authority in these cases.

Facilities provided at gardens of remembrance

Our gardens of remembrance are special areas set aside for the scattering of ashes. As they are used all year round for this purpose, it might not be possible or appropriate to mark or identify the exact location of an individual’s ashes. We offer a range of locations and ways to remember loved ones, find out more in our choose a memorial section.