What can I expect at a witnessed scattering?
You may decide that you would like to be present when scattering the ashes of your loved one at one of the scattering locations on our site. To do so, the applicant to the funeral, who is usually the deceased’s next of kin, should contact our office to arrange a time and date, with a minimum of three working days notice. Although we ask you to make an appointment with us so we can ensure staff availability, we are usually quite flexible. You are able to make an appointment between 10.00 – 16.00 on a weekday, and 10.00 and 13.00 on a Saturday by special request. There is a fee for witnessed scatterings, and this is slightly higher on a Saturday. Please click here for current fees.
Although the applicant must make the appointment, they do not have to be present themselves if they do not wish to be; they can arrange for other family or friends to be present. We welcome small groups of friends and family at scatterings. Sometimes, families also arrange for an officiant to accompany them to read a few words at the time.
When you arrive at the crematorium for your appointment, please make your way to our general office and notify a member of staff of your presence. You will then most likely be shown to our family waiting room where another member of staff will greet you to discuss the scattering procedure. If, for any reason, you are unable to make your appointment, please make sure that you inform our office so we can be sure not to expect you.
If the original cremation took place at Cambridge Crematorium and the ashes are still in our care, we will place them inside one of scattering urns ahead of your arrival. If the ashes are in your possession, either because you have already collected them or the cremation took place elsewhere, you may bring them with you on the day and will transfer them into one of our urns when you arrive. When you are bringing the ashes to us yourself, you must be certain to bring the original Certificate of Cremation from your crematorium with you. We will not be able to scatter without having first seen this certificate. Please note that there is an additional charge for scattering ashes brought from another crematorium.
We usually ask families to pay the scattering fees in advance or on the day, before the scattering takes place. This means that you will not have to come back into our office after the scattering and interrupt a reflective time. We accept payment by cash, cheque, credit or debit card. Cheques should be made payable to Cambridge City Council.
Before the scattering, a member of staff will ensure you have chosen a location to scatter in. If you are looking to scatter them in the same location as someone else’s ashes, do let us know and we will be able to check our records for you as we keep a record of where ashes have been scattered historically.
When you are sure of the location, a member of staff will then accompany you to that place, to ensure you are in the correct location. At this point, some families like to say a few reflective words, although this is absolutely not a necessity. If you would like one our staff to read something aloud on your behalf, we would be happy to do so.
A member of our staff will then ask you if you would like to scatter the ashes yourself, or whether you would like us to do so on your behalf. As we have a duty of care to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, the member of staff will stay with you until the ashes are scattered. After they have been scattered, we will leave you to reflect or spend time in our grounds for as long as you wish.
Please note, that when scattering on a flower bed, we are unable to scatter on the actual bed itself as this can have long term effects on the plants. Instead, we scatter on the lawn directly in front of them.
If you have any queries, or if we can clarify or elaborate on any of the information above, please do not hesitate to contact our general office and we will be happy to assist.