Changes to funeral services due to coronavirus

07/04/2020, PR-9375

Wakefield Council has issued new guidance on the length of funeral services at its crematoria in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

Any new bookings for funeral services at both Pontefract and Wakefield Crematoria will be 20 minutes in length. 

The new measures are being taken by the Council as part of its commitment to support the national effort to keep people safe and to prevent the spread of the virus, and to enable more services to take place if demand increases.

The Council already offered 20 minute services, in addition to longer 40 minute services. Now all services will be conducted in 20 minutes.

Andrew Balchin
Andrew Balchin

Wakefield Council’s Acting Chief Executive, Andrew Balchin, said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make in very challenging circumstances. We understand that these changes will be difficult for families grieving the loss of a loved-one.

“These changes have been temporarily introduced to help keep everyone who is involved, both families and staff, as safe as possible during these unprecedented times. It will also enable more services to take place.

“We appreciate people’s understanding during these difficult times.”

Last month, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Council also issued new guidelines, which remain in place, for the number of mourners.

Funerals at both Pontefract and Wakefield Crematoria are restricted to a maximum of 10 mourners, following Government guidance. A maximum of 20 mourners will be able to attend burial and graveside services in the district that are managed by the Council.

As part of measures introduced in March, mourners and funeral directors and Council staff involved in services or burials are being asked to keep to the Government’s social distancing rule. People will need to remain two metres apart during services and at the grave side.

Any existing bookings up to 27 April booked for a 40 minute slot will be unaffected by the change.

For more information on Council bereavement services, including costs, please visit