Different types of funeral intro

There are various options to choose from as an alternative to traditional services, burials and cremations. Your funeral director, if you choose to use one, can advise you on these. We have outlined the main options below. 

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Muslim burial request

Contact: NCC Administration Office, Coopies Lane Depot 
01670 621250 or email CastleMorpethCemeteries@northumberland.gov.uk


Civil & non-religious funerals

Every family is different, and their funeral arrangements can reflect this. You might choose a religious service or to follow cultural traditions. Perhaps you will strictly follow the personal wishes of the deceased. Either way, funerals can be personalised to suit your preferences.


Civil funerals

Civil ceremonies are created with the help of civil funeral celebrants. They are personalised to the wishes of the family and friends. It is a dignified yet formal non-religious ceremony. It is appropriate to cremations as well as burials at a burial ground, but not in religious buildings.

Each civil funeral ceremony is completely unique to the deceased. The eulogy is delivered by the funeral celebrant or any of the family or friends. This forms a major part of the ceremony and is created in partnership with the family.

A civil funeral ceremony can be arranged by contacting Civil Ceremonies Ltd to check availability, date, time and venue. Contact them by:


Humanist funerals

A humanist funeral is a non-religious ceremony. It celebrates the life of the deceased and can include readings, poems and music.


Non-religious ceremonies at the crematorium

Contact us 2 days in advance if you are having a non-religious ceremony at the crematorium. We will then arrange for the crucifix at the crematorium to be covered for the service.


Independent funeral

Many people choose to use the services of a funeral director to organise the majority of the funeral arrangements.

However, you can make all the arrangements yourself. Including the provision of a coffin and transportation of the deceased to the crematorium or cemetery. Copies of all the necessary forms are available from the crematorium. The staff will be happy to assist you.


National assistance funerals

If there are no relatives or friends, we may have a duty to help under the Public Health Control of Disease Act 1984. We aim to comply with the requirements of the act in a sympathetic manner. All the appropriate funeral arrangements are made.

Where possible, we will recover expenses from the deceased's estate. This limits the costs to our residents. Every effort is made to try and find a will or any other documents that indicate the existence of any relatives, religious beliefs or funeral preferences.

The funeral will be a cremation, unless it appears the deceased was against it. Funeral arrangements will be made by the funeral director nominated by us. If the deceased had left paperwork or advised family or friends they wanted to be buried, suitable arrangements will be made.

To view statistical information on Public Health Funerals, please click on this link.


Woodland burial

This is a natural burial and helps create new woodland. It allows people with environmental concerns a way of giving something back.

There are two established woodland burial sites in Northumberland:

  • Fairmoor Cemetery in Morpeth
  • Prestwick Cemetery in Ponteland

All woodland burial plots are single depth to keep disturbance in the area to a minimum. They will accommodate one burial. Burials in this area will only be permitted in biodegradable coffins or shrouds of natural fibre.

Once the ground has settled following a burial, a small tree can be planted at the head of the grave if requested.

The woodland area will be managed as traditional woodland with no horticultural chemicals used. This will encourage and protect wild flowers and wildlife.

Memorials or other markings will not be allowed on individual grave plots. This is to discourage people from walking on grave plots and to allow the area to develop naturally.

This includes the placing of floral tributes or other arrangements after funeral flowers have wilted. No paths will be constructed in the woodland area.

Find out more about woodland burials at Northumbrian woodland burials.

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