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Arranging a funeral

​​​​​​​​​​​​​There are 3 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies.

  • Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. You’ll need this to register the death.
  • Register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You’ll then get the documents you need for the funeral.
  • Arrange the funeral - you can use a funeral director or arrange it yourself.

Choosing a funeral director

To arrange a funeral you're advised to choose a funeral director who is a member of one of the following organisations who will have a code of practice.

Types of funerals

Independent funerals

Some people feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person, or it may simply be a way of saving money. An independent funeral can mean taking responsibility for collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and arranging the service or it can just mean arranging the burial and service.

There is now a move towards a more 'green' type of burial which promotes biodegradable coffins and gives the option of a woodland burial. The Natural Death Centre is a charitable project and provides information to help people arrange inexpensive, family-organised, and environmentally-friendly funerals.

More information can be found at The Natural Death Centre

Non-religious funerals

There is no requirement to have a religious ceremony or any kind of ceremony at all at a funeral.

Alternatively, a family member or friend may say a few words at the service if preferred. If you don’t want a ceremony at all, members of the family or close friends can attend the committal which can be in silence, or with some music being played.

You can choose to have a Humanist ceremony where the proceedings involve a celebration of the dead person's life through readings, tributes and appropriate music. At this type of funeral the services of an celebrant are commonly used.

More information on using a celebrant and Humanist ceremonies can be found at The British Humanist Association

Help with funeral costs

If you’re on a low income you could be eligible for a Funeral Payment, to help to pay for a funeral you're arranging from the Department for Work and Pensions. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

More information is available from your local Job Centre or Funeral Payment​​​​s on GOV.UK



01706 645219

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-12noon and 1pm-4.30pm.
Bereavement Services
Rochdale Cemetery
Bury Road
Rochdale OL11 4DG

The cemetery office is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12noon and 1pm to 4.30​pm for visitors and enquiries.