The government has produced a leaflet (Information for the bereaved - 23 April) with information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency and explains the next steps, answers some of the questions you may have and provides advice about the extra help and support that is available. The leaflet is available on their websiteThe Cornwall Bereavement Network also has lots of useful information on their website to help at this time.


The North Devon Crematorium has introduced some measures to minimise the risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus and to ensure maximum service availability.

Mourner Numbers

• Mourner numbers will be limited to 33
• The restriction on relationship to the deceased will also be removed

Double length-services

• May now be booked

Book of Remembrance

• The book of Remembrance room will be opened to permit viewing 9am – 4pm 7-days a week
• The flower facility will remain closed


All webcast options (including the currently free basic webcast) will be chargeable at the normal cost


• The office is open to visitors for booked appointments only from Monday 3rd August. A maximum of 2 persons for any visit. Face masks are not a requirement though social distancing, hand sanitiser, barriers and clear screens are in use. The office will be cleaned after every visit.

Face covering 

• You must wear a face covering when entering the chapel at the crematorium or a burial ground.

There are circumstances where it is not necessary to wear a face covering. Whilst not a complete list, the main ‘exemptions’ are:

• Staff
• People acting on behalf of staff (this may include ministers/celebrants and funeral directors)
• Likely to suffer severe distress (this may apply to some mourners)
• Children under 11
• Those with certain health conditions or disabilities

The following measures are also in force:

  • one extremely clinically vulnerable mourner may also attend the service as part of the 30 as above and view from the Rowan Chapel viewing room. This must be arranged with the funeral director. In these cases individuals must consider the risks and whether they would be better to use the free webcast option through the funeral director
  • 2-metre social distancing
  • following a risk assessment, singing will still be allowed
  • stopping coffin bearing which will be replaced with a hydraulic trolley
  • no touching of coffin by mourners/committal doors closed on committal/flowers removed by bearers after service
  • removing hymn books and playing hymns from a television screen
  • closing the chapel doors straight after committal to prevent touching of the coffin at the end of the service
  • removing some seating to allow chairs to be spread further apart
  • asking people to leave paperwork in a postbox rather than come into the office or even better, scan and email it back
  • prohibiting anyone self-isolating, or who has a cough, fever or shortness of breath from entering any of the buildings
  • people aged 70 or older are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household
  • cleaning of the chapel after every service
  • the Rowan Chapel toilets are open but restricted to times when services are taking place
  • office facilities remain closed to public visitors (except for ashes collection), but where appropriate outside garden appointments/ashes burials are resuming

Crematorium gardens are open 

We are pleased to announce that the grounds at the crematorium are open for those who wish to visit to pay their respects. This follows changes to government legislation on 22 April which removed the legal requirement to close crematorium grounds except for funerals.


Our cemeteries are open to the public and there are signs up reminding people to please follow the government advice about social distancing.