FUNERALS are not changing, they have changed, says the director of a leading funeral firm.

As the UK continues its lockdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic, concerns have been raised over how funerals have been affected.

While the nation is on lockdown, the UK’s leading provider of funerals, Co-op Funeralcare, has released its latest guidance on funeral arrangements to ensure the ongoing safety of its clients and colleagues – after making ‘tough decisions’.

Co-op Funeralcare has branches in Connah’s Quay and Wrexham.

With over 40 years of experience in the industry, David Collingwood, Director of funerals at Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Losing a loved one is a devastating time for any family, but even more so to lose someone in the current circumstances.

“We have a social responsibility to limit the spread of disease and play our part to save lives, whilst fully supporting our colleagues and communities through a time of loss.

"Our colleagues are working tirelessly to provide families with access to the services they need to navigate the loss of a loved one, whilst also adhering to government safety guidelines and social distancing requirements to limit and slow the spread of coronavirus.”

David said it is crucial that families feel a part of their loved ones funeral, even if they cannot physically attend and tough decisions have had to be made.

He added: “Where crematoriums have filming facilities, they should be available to all families who wish to access them, and the systems should be resilient enough to cope with extra the demand. It's crucial we support families and communities during these devastating times, and ensure they feel part of their loved one's funeral even if they can't physically attend.

“We aim to protect our communities and have therefore had to make some tough but responsible choices to help families and individuals say goodbye in the safest possible way.”

Limousine use has been suspended and funeral arrangements are carried out over the phone of with two family members if necessary.

Funerals are also limited to no more than 10 people so social distancing rules can be applied.

More information can be found online at:

Similarly, Roberts Brothers company director Phil Roberts said the current pandemic has affected a ‘great number’ of services in many different ways including the closure of churches and chapels.

He said: “Families have had to be understanding to making adjustments in order to accommodate the ever changing guidance which is being put forward from the Government and the Public Health Boards in both England and Wales, even at very short notice but in my opinion though each and every family had still been given the opportunity to pay a respectful farewell to their loved one.

“It has, and will continue to be for some time yet, incredibly difficult for families but they have faced the situation admirably and held the importance of remembering their loved one at the heart of all decisions while continuing to ensure the safety of all involved.”

Phil said the company has worked around the clock to explore all avenues for families and to present them a range of choices whilst adhering to the advice.

Those unable to travel are able to web-stream the funeral and share the experience and Phil has pledged to continue helping families in the longer term – such as holding public memorial services when this is over.

Some of the bigger changes include withdrawal of limousines, reduced number of attendees and the inability to hold social gatherings.

He added: “The hardest thing from our side has been having to massively restrict our face to face interaction with our clients, it’s such a huge part of building a bond with them and reassuring them of your compassion towards them so having to undertake the majority of interaction via telephone and e-mail is very difficult on both sides.

“Personally, I think that the enforced changes such as the amendments to the procedure of death registration (now being via telephone only) and the limitations on numbers and the relationships of those people being able to attend services not only in Pentrebychan Crematorium but also the local Churchyards and Cemeteries are at about their maximum limits.

“Unquestionably these decisions have been made because everyone is focused on trying to balance the safety of the public - those helping to facilitate and provide services as well as those attending ceremonies, through trying to limit the spread and effect of this pandem2ic with ensuring that each and every person is remembered in that personal and dignified manner.