Herne Road Cemetery

COVID-19 – Attending funeral services at Herne Road Cemetery

Updated 14.07.2020

Following the measures put in place by the government to reduce the risk of COVID-19, in order to ensure that funeral services of loved ones can continue, the following arrangements have been put in place:

WHO CAN ATTEND?

  1. Aside from the funeral director/staff and CTC staff, the funeral service should only be attended by a modest number of friends and family.

 

  1. If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms you should not attend the funeral service – even if the symptoms are very mild.

 

  1. If you are self-isolating for 14 days due to someone in your household being unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, but are not symptomatic yourself, you may attend the funeral service so long as all other guidelines and government guidance are adhered to.

 

  1. If you are clinically vulnerable or in a shielded group, you may attend the funeral service so long as all other guidelines and government guidance are adhered to.

 

MOURNERS WHO ARE SELF-ISOLATING

 

You may be self-isolating due to another member of your household being unwell with symptoms of Covid-19. Where the funeral is scheduled before the period of household isolation has been completed (14 days from the first person in that household showing symptoms) mourners who are self-isolating must:

  1. NOT ATTEND if you have any symptoms of any kind, even if these are very mild

 

  1. Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others

 

  1. Consider advising the other people attending that you are otherwise self-isolating at home and ensure that you do not attend at the same time as another mourner who may be clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

  1. Practise careful hand and respiratory hygiene:

 

  • wash your hands more often – with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitiser.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin

 

  1. Strongly consider using your own transport, where possible.

 

MOURNERS WHO ARE CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE

People who are clinically vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they are in this group or been told by their GP. If you are in this group, you will have been advised to minimise your contact with others for your personal protection. However, you may decide to attend a funeral despite the additional risk this poses to yourself.

You are not advised to attend a funeral if there are others attending who are self-isolating due to another member of the household being unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, as they could be incubating disease. If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, you should follow the general social distancing advice for the clinically vulnerable and should maintain a minimum 2 metres distance at all times from other people.

If you are in the clinically vulnerable group, you should always adhere to rigorous hand and respiratory hygiene, but particularly whilst out of the home environment. Hand sanitiser or sanitising wipes should be used regularly whilst outside of the home. Please be aware that there are no toilet or hand washing facilities at Herne Road Cemetery.

If you still wish to attend a funeral, even considering the potential additional risk this poses to yourself, you may wish to:

  1. Advise other attendees that you are an extremely clinically vulnerable person and reiterate the need to stay at home if they are unwell, and to avoid close contact with you at any point.

 

  1. Avoid shaking hands, hugging or touching other people attending the funeral service.

 

  1. Travel to the venue independently, preferably in a car by yourself, or with a member of your immediate household.

 

  1. Avoid touching any surface whilst at the cemetery; wash your hands thoroughly before attending and bring hand sanitiser to use whilst attending.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

We understand that attending any funeral or interment is a difficult and emotional experience. The current Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in us having to consider social distancing even whilst attending the funeral of a loved one. Whilst you are no doubt aware of social distancing, please could we kindly draw your attention to the following guidance which is taken from www.gov.uk.


 ST THOMAS CHAPEL

 St. Thomas’ Chapel will not be available for booking until further notice. Only graveside services are permitted at the present time.


WASHING HANDS

There is no facility for the washing of hands at Herne Road Cemetery, so you may wish to bring hand sanitiser with you to use.

You can reduce the risk of transmission by reducing the number of items/areas you touch whilst visiting the cemetery, and then ensuring you wash your hands/use hand sanitiser thoroughly after attending the service. The pedestrian gate on Herne Road will be latched open so that there is no need to touch anything in order to enter the cemetery. You should then be able to attend a graveside service without the need to touch anything.


 

These arrangements are not intended as a definitive list but as guidance and will be reviewed in line with government advice and may be subject to change.

If you have any questions relating to Herne Road Cemetery and/or interments there during the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to call on (01892) 652907 or email cemeteries@crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk. Thank you for your understanding.

Any updates to government guidance can be found on www.gov.uk .

If you have any concerns about whether or not you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, please visit www.nhs.uk for guidance.

Crowborough Town Council is the burial authority for the parish of Crowborough and it maintains the Herne Road Cemetery, which incorporates a Garden of Remembrance for the interment of cremated remains, as well as a traditional burial ground. Within the cemetery grounds is St Thomas’ Chapel. This small chapel is able to accommodate approximately thirty people and is available for services upon request.

A few years ago the Council purchased a piece of land on the edge of the town (London Road) and work has started on creating a new cemetery. It is hoped this new cemetery, Summersales Burial Ground, will open within the next couple of years.

FORMS AND INFORMATION

If you… Please click here…
Would like to arrange an interment Application for Interment

Acceptance of Regulations

Would like to apply for a memorial permit Application to Erect, Alter or Repair a Memorial
Would like to pre-purchase a Garden of Remembrance plot Application to pre-purchase a Garden of Remembrance plot
Would like to check our fees Burial Fees 2020-21
Would like to review to Cemetery Regulations Cemetery Regulations

Please find below some of our most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact the Council Offices on:

01892 652907 or email cemeteries@crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk

 

MEMORIAL SAFETY TESTING – PUBLIC NOTICE

Please note that Crowborough Town Council’s ongoing safety programme involves the inspection of all memorials at:

HERNE ROAD CEMETERY

Commencing April 2020

 Any memorial that has not met the health and safety requirements will be provided with a notice and temporary support. Additionally, a letter will be posted to the registered holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial for the grave, giving details of the action required by them to make the memorial safe.

 For your own safety, and that of all visitors to the cemetery, DO NOT attempt to test memorials yourself. Any work to repair memorials must be undertaken by a qualified monumental mason.

ALL MEMORIALS REMAIN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE OWNER TO KEEP IN GOOD SAFE ORDER

We appreciate your assistance and co-operation in ensuring this cemetery is a safe place for everyone to visit.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a memorial, or this notice, please contact Crowborough Town Council on (01892) 652907 or cemeteries@crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk

 

MEMORIAL SAFETY – Frequently Asked Questions

 Why Are We Carrying Out Memorial/Headstone Safety Checks?

Safety inspections and tests are required to ensure our cemetery is a safe place for visitors and for employees working in them. Sadly, over the past few years there have been several incidents in other cemeteries around the country where unstable memorials have fallen over onto people, including children, resulting in both fatalities and serious injuries. The Health and Safety Executive, who encourage, regulate and enforce workplace safety in the UK (HSE), are interested in Memorial Safety and have issued notifications to Local Authorities insisting that they have policies and procedures in place to ensure the stability of memorials. Crowborough Town Council has a responsibility for the safety of all visitors to the cemeteries and those working in them.

Who is Responsible for my memorial’s repair and condition?

The holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial for the grave is responsible for keeping the memorial repaired and in a safe condition. However, the Council has the obligation of making this cemetery safe and will use reasonable means to ensure the safety of those working in or visiting it. A warning notice will be attached to any memorial if it is found to be in an unsafe condition and the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial contacted to arrange a permanent repair with a qualified, registered, monumental mason.

 What is done during the safety test and inspection?

Each memorial will be given a visual check to assess its condition. It will then be given a push test (steady, gentle pressure applied to the top of the memorial) to check its stability. The results of the test are logged and recorded. This safety check is carried out by officers of the council or it’s chosen contractors.

 What if the memorial fails the test?

As the cemetery is a public place, the council has a duty of care to make sure an unstable memorial is made safe immediately. Depending on the level of danger posed by unstable memorials, it will either be temporarily made safe and a warning notice will be applied to the memorial or, in the case of an immediate, high-risk hazard, the memorial will be laid flat and a warning notice applied to the memorial. In both cases, the council will then contact the holders of the Exclusive Right of Burial for the grave to inform them.

 Why have I not been contacted regarding the temporary support/band and/or cautionary notice that has been applied to my memorial?

It is the council’s priority to make safe any unstable memorial found during the inspection. We want the cemetery to be a safe place to visit and work. As soon as possible following the inspection, we will write to the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial using the address we have on our records. If we have not contacted, you it may be because we do not have current address. Please contact us on (01892) 652907 or cemeteries@crowboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk to check or update your contact details.

 Will my memorial undergo tests in the future?

Yes. The council will carry out these tests at periodic, regular intervals and all memorials will be inspected at least every five years.

Herne Road Cemetery is located on Herne Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 2NT. The cemetery does not have a car park but there is usually plentiful free on-road parking along Herne Road.

Can I pre-purchase a plot in Herne Road Cemetery?

For coffin interments – It is not possible to pre-purchase plots for coffin burials.
For cremated remains interments – It is possible to pre-purchase a Garden of Remembrance cremated remains plot. This is restricted to one per person but may be jointly owned by a maximum of two people, one of whom may be a non-parishioner. To do so please contact the Council Offices.

 

So, how do I purchase a plot?

For coffin interments – Your Funeral Director will contact the Council Offices as part of the process of arranging a funeral. Burial plots are allocated in strict rotation.
For cremated remains interments – This can be done in advance (a pre-purchase) and the plot is kept for future use by the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial. Alternatively, this can also be done at the time of interment; either by a Funeral Director or directly via the Council Offices.

 

How do I arrange an interment at Herne Road Cemetery?

For coffin interments – Please contact a Funeral Director who will help you manage this process and liaise with the Council Offices on your behalf. The Council Offices do not arrange coffin burials directly.
For cremated remains interments – Please either contact a Funeral Director who will help you manage this process and liaise with the Council Offices on your behalf, or contact the Council Offices who can arrange this directly for you.

 

What days of the week do you arrange interments?

The cemetery is available for interments Monday to Fridays. It is not possible to arrange interments for the weekend or for Bank Holidays. The usual hours for interments are 10am to 3pm.

How much do you charge for cemetery services?

A full list of fees is published annually on 1st April. The current list of fees is available to view here: Burial Fees 2020-21

Can I visit the Cemetery at any time?

Herne Road Cemetery is open for visitors between the hours of 8am and dusk. Access is via a pedestrian gate on Herne Road. There is no dedicated car park at the cemetery but on-road parking is usually available. The council reserves the right to close the cemetery and limit access at any point.

Can I place a memorial on a grave?

The only person who can apply to place a memorial on a grave (or make alterations to an existing memorial) is the person who holds the deed of Exclusive Right of Burial for that particular grave.

How do I go about arranging a memorial, or altering an existing memorial?

All memorials, or memorial alterations, must be carried out by a NAMM or BRAMM registered stonemason. You can find a list of registered masons here:

www.namm.org.uk

www.bramm-uk.org

Your chosen stonemason will apply for a memorial permit from the Council Offices, and will usually help you fill out our paperwork, but the form MUST be signed by the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial. Having been granted a permit your stonemason will then contact us and we will arrange for them to visit the cemetery to fit or alter your memorial.

Can I erect any type or memorial?

No. There are conditions relating to the size and type of memorial, and materials used. Further information may be found in the Cemetery Regulations or by contacting the Council Offices. A permit will only be issued if the conditions are met.

How much does it cost to obtain a memorial permit?

A full list of the charges relating to memorials can be viewed here: Burial Fees 2020-21

What exactly is an ‘Exclusive Right of Burial’?

In order for an interment to take place (in any grave) an Exclusive Right of Burial has to be purchased. When you purchase an Exclusive Right of Burial you are being granted [by the Council] the right to inter whomever who wish in that grave space for the period during which you hold the deed. You DO NOT own the land in any way.

Then there is a time limit to my deed?

Yes. Crowborough Town Council grants deeds of Exclusive Right of Burial for a period of 75 years. You can renew the Right subject to any restrictions and regulations that are in place at that time. Any application for renewal should be made within twelve months of the expiry date.

Can more than one person own the Right?

Legally a number of people can jointly own the Right; however, please be aware that all owners are required to give permission before a grave can be opened. For example, this means that if four siblings jointly held a right all four would be required to sign any and all paperwork. If one of the holders refuses to sign, the grave cannot be opened for a burial, or for a memorial to be erected or altered.

What happens when the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial dies?

Providing there is space, all holders of an Exclusive Right of Burial have the legal right to be buried in the grave. When there are a number of holders and one dies, the rights are then shared by the remaining holders. This continues until there is only one holder, at which point the Right will be transferred via their estate.

Can I transfer the Exclusive Right to someone else now?

Yes. A living owner can change ownership using a Form of Assignment. Please contact the Council Offices for further information.

But what happens if the holder has already died?

When the last remaining owner is deceased a transfer must take place, via their estate, before any further burial, erection of a memorial or amendment of a memorial may take place. There are several different ways in which a transfer may be accomplished, depending upon how the estate of the deceased owner is being, or has been, handled:

If the deceased owner left a will AND a Grant of Probate has been obtained

If a grave owner has made a valid will and left an estate of sufficient value to require a Grant of Probate, ownership of the grave will be transferred to the Executor/s. The Executor/s will need to provide us with a sealed copy Grant of Probate (NOT a photocopy) and, if possible, the original Deed of Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial.

If an Executor does not wish to retain the Right they can then transfer it to whomever they choose using a Form of Assent, which is available from the Council Offices.

If the deceased owner left a will but NO Grant of Probate has been obtained

If a grave owner has made a valid will but the estate is not of sufficient value to require a Grant of Probate then ownership will be transferred to the Executor/s named in the will by way of a Statutory Declaration. The Executor/s will need to visit the Council Offices with the will and any codicils (we will only take a copy of the relevant part of the will/codicil showing the Executor/s). This information will be used to create a Statutory Declaration in the name of the Executor, who will then need to take the document and sign it in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner of Oaths. Many local solicitors are Commissioners of Oaths and will provide this service for a small fee.

If the deceased owner did NOT leave a will BUT a Grant of Letters of Administration was obtained

If a grave owner did not leave a valid will but left an estate of sufficient value to require a Grant of Letters of Administration, ownership of the grave will be transferred to the Administrator/s. The Administrator/s will need to provide us with a sealed copy Grant of Letters of Administration and, if possible, the original Deed of Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial.

If an Administrator does not wish to retain the Right they can then transfer it to whomever they choose using a Form of Assent, which is available from the Council Offices.

If the deceased owner did NOT leave a will and a Grant of Letters of Administration was NOT obtained

If a grave owner did not leave a valid will and left an estate of insufficient value to require a Grant of Letters of Administration the ownership will be transferred to the lawful next of kin by way of a Statutory Declaration. This document will need to be signed in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner of Oaths. Many local solicitors are Commissioners of Oaths and will provide this service for a small fee. For further information on lawful next of kin, please contact the Council Offices.

Crowborough Town Council is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management Logo