Arranging a cremation

Many families know little about funerals, having been touched for the first time by their loss, they are not clear as to whether they intend to use a funeral director or make arrangements themselves.

Other requests are about making the funerals less formal and more a celebration of the life of the deceased or about being more natural and 'green'.

In response to these requests, we detail the routine followed by a funeral director using our services, to which matters of interest to all the bereaved are added. This, it is hoped, will help the bereaved understand their rights and complete as little or as much of the funeral arrangements as they wish, even carrying out the funeral without a funeral director.

The information given is intended to widen choice and help the bereaved and others to obtain a meaningful funeral. Salford City Council does not wish to promote any particular type of arrangement or choice and it is hoped that the guidance does not imply this. Salford Bereavement Services does not provide a funeral directing service and cannot collect your loved ones' bodies from the place where the deceased passed away and convey them to the crematorium.

Funerals can be arranged from anywhere in the country without difficulty, although the distance will increase costs. If you use a funeral director, you can choose one from your locality or alternatively contact one in the Salford area (we can supply a list). Some funeral directors are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) and have a code of practice. Under this code, they should offer you a price list, at your request.

Our locations

Salford has two crematoria, Agecroft Crematorium is located on the north-east side of the city in the Pendlebury area and Peel Green Crematorium is situated on the south-west of the city. There is one chapel in each of the buildings, each with its own entrance and car park. The chapels seat 80 comfortably and in the event of a large congregation, a public address system can be arranged for mourners to join in the service who may have to stand outside the building during the service.

The Bereavement Services head office is situated at the entrance gates to Agecroft Cemetery. You can make your funeral arrangements either in person or by calling us.

Salford Bereavement Services
Agecroft Cemetery Office
Langley Road
M27 8SS
Telephone: 0161 686 7290

Provisional booking of the cremation

You can contact us by telephoning on the above numbers from Monday to Friday between 9.00am to 4.30pm.

Please state that you require a cremation booking (not a burial). This provisional booking ensures that a day and time is reserved for your funeral arrangements and so all other aspects can now be organised.

You can arrange a service at the following times:

  • 9.40am, 10.20am, 11.00am, 11.40am, 1.00pm, 1.40pm, 2.20pm and 3.00pm (Agecroft Crematorium)
  • 9.40am, 10.20am, 11.00am, 11.40am, 12.20pm, 1.40pm, 2.20pm and 3.00pm (Peel Green Crematorium)

We provide a limited service on Saturday morning. Please discuss the availability with the office staff (an additional charge is made for weekend funerals).

A total of 40 minutes is reserved for each service. If you require more time, a double booking can be arranged (there is an extra charge), and you must inform the office at the time of the booking. The 40 minutes allows for the cortege to arrive, enter the chapel have a service and then exit the chapel.

Sufficient time must be allowed from booking to the day of the funeral to obtain the necessary medical forms. Usually three days or more is sufficient. If the death is reported to the coroner or occurs during a bank holiday, then more time will be required.

The information you will need to give over the telephone is:

  • Day and date of funeral
  • Time required
  • Name of deceased
  • Your name, telephone number and address if you are making arrangements yourself. This is the minimum required to book your provisional booking, however, if you have the following details you may give these to the funeral coordinator who is taking your information:
    • Religious or secular service
    • Full service or committal
    • Music
    • Final placement of cremated remains

These details will be repeated back to you to ensure they are correct.

Once the provisional booking is made a series of arrangements must be made as soon as possible.

Statutory cremation forms

A cremation cannot take place if the required statutory forms are not prepared in time or are incorrect for the Medical Referee to allow cremation. Forms can be collected from our office or sent to you by post.

Confirmation of telephone booking (white preliminary form)

This form confirms the information you have given over the telephone and confirms any details missing from your telephone booking. It also requires you to sign the form to confirm your instructions as to the final disposal of the cremated remains after the funeral has taken place.

Form 1 - Application for cremation

This form must be completed by the nearest surviving relative or executor. If not, a reason why some one else has applied must be given to the satisfaction of the medical referee. The details required are quite straightforward and should not pose any difficulties to you. A householder known to the applicant must countersign the form.

Form 4 - Certificate of Medical Attendant, Form 5 - Confirmatory Medical Certificate and Form 10 - Authority to Cremate

You must notify the deceased's doctor. who attended their last illness and tell them you are arranging a cremation. Whether this doctor is the GP or a hospital doctor. they will obtain these forms for you and complete them.

On some occasions the doctor will only complete form 4 if he/she knows the result of a post mortem. Forms 4 and 5 are printed by the council as a double page spread with form 10 on the back page. The medical referee when he is satisfied that the forms submitted are completed properly will complete form 10 'Authority to Cremate'.

If the death has been reported to the coroner, he or she may issue a certificate Form E which takes the place of forms 4 and 5. Form E usually necessitates a post-mortem or an inquest. This should not alarm you, as reporting the death in this way is quite usual. The coroner's office will guide you and keep you informed of progress.

Registrar's certificate

You will need to register the death at the births, deaths and marriages department of the district where the deceased died. If the coroner is involved then you will not require to register the death at the registrar's office, but you will still be required to attend before the day of the funeral to record the details of death, once the coroner has released the paperwork to the registrar of births and deaths.

The registrar, if he is registering the death will issue a certificate for burial or cremation (called the green disposal) which you should pass to us as soon as possible.

This will complete the legal requirements, and you must now consider organising the funeral.

Choosing the container or coffin

With cremation a coffin is essential to allow us to place the body into the cremator. The base of the coffin must be smooth and hard to enable it to be placed onto the rollers and into the cremator safely.

Options for your consideration:

  1. You can purchase a coffin from a funeral director. All standard coffins are made of chipboard with approved veneers and plastics for cremation purposes.
  2. You can construct your own coffin using chipboard or wood. A diagram and instructions are available from the office.
    The material you use must be suitable for cremation and chipboard is generally preferred. Ferrous screws are acceptable in small numbers. If you use wood braces which will give the coffin strength you must place them inside and not on the bottom, which will cause difficulties when placing the coffin into the cremator. No heavy metals, PVC or plastics generally should be used.
  3. New coffins often of a 'green' design are on the market now and you can make enquiries through most funeral directors.
    These coffins are made of cardboard, readily available for cremation and they come in different designs. If you wish to decorate this type of coffin, gloss or many other paint finishes are not acceptable because of the emission into the atmosphere. Water based children's paint will be acceptable. The coffin must contain a name plate or card or can be written onto the lid. As fluid can leak from a body it is as well to place absorbent cloth or cotton wadding in to the coffin.

The maximum dimensions of a coffin for access into the cremator are 2000mm long x 700mm wide x 550mm deep. Please discuss this measurement further with staff at cemetery office when making arrangements.

Transporting the body

You may be able to hire a hearse from a local funeral director or you can use an estate car or van of a suitable appearance and size. If the body is to collected from the mortuary (address and telephone numbers are displayed at the bottom of this page) then you will need to telephone and make arrangements for a collection time. You will also need to take the green registrar's disposal form with you to prove to the hospital staff that you are the nearest surviving relative of the deceased and that the death has been properly recorded. The staff there will place the body into the coffin and advise you if a post mortem has been completed. A small fee may be payable for the staff assistance.

If you wish, the deceased may be laid out at home but you must consider the conditions of the room, which must be cool and have no difficult stairs to access through. Your neighbours and small children also need to be considered when the deceased is moved into your home. You may wish to preserve your loved one for a longer period by contacting a funeral director to request hygienic treatment. A leaflet on the subject is available from the cemetery office if you wish to consider this option.

Crematoria facilities

The crematoria have no formal waiting areas but do have toilet facilities. Each chapel is laid out conventionally with seating in rows each side of a centre aisle and seats comfortably up to 80 mourners.

We have symbolic crosses in the chapels that may be removed during the service upon request. Each lectern has a microphone and controls for the curtain around the catafalque and the music. The chapels also have a loop system for the hard of hearing. Each chapel has an organ that you can arrange for someone to play or you may bring tapes or CDs which we would like the day before the service so that we may plan the next days work and ensure that the quality of the recording is acceptable for the funeral service. If you want certain pieces of music in or out or during please write your requirements and submit with the music. If you wish musicians or read poetry or bagpipes just let the office know and as long as it's not too noisy and is conducted in an orderly manner then arrangements can be organised. You will have to bear in mind that the service is for 40 minutes and the service should be organised to take within this time. The fee for the chapel is included in the cremation fee. If you wish to book extra time please let the office know. An extra fee is charged.

We provide hymn books but you may have to provide leaflets for hymns or songs, which are not printed in our books.

There is a public telephone in the both chapels for your convenience. Please ask the staff for assistance.


You can inspect the chapels prior to the service that you wish to arrange. Please telephone the office first to arrange your visit, during times when funerals are not taking place.

You can have a service in a church or chapel before coming to the crematorium and then a short committal service will be held. A minister may require a fee for officiating at your service and you will arrange this yourself.

You can devise your own service and deliver it yourself or, through a family member or friend. This can make the service a meaningful experience, which can be more personal and moving. The deceased may have composed the service with the family carrying out their wishes. If you ask a minister to officiate check he/she is happy with your wishes for the services.

You will need to provide four bearers to carry the coffin to the catafalque, these may be family members. Unfortunately, the crematorium staff are not able to assist in the carrying of the coffin at this stage.

The funeral

You can follow the coffin, as a procession from the entrance gates to the crematorium to arrive at the agreed service time. Alternatively most mourners can meet at the chapel entrance with the coffin arriving with the family at the agreed service time.

Once at the crematorium, the chapel attendant will be ready to receive and help you.

You can have a religious or non religious service of your choice. The chapels are dedicated but not consecrated allowing anyone the service type they wish.

The committal

The coffin rests on the catafalque during the service and the committal ceremony is usually towards the end of the service. The person officiating will press a button on the lectern just as the words of committal are spoken and the curtains will close around the coffin. This part of the service was introduced to symbolise the lowering of the coffin into a grave. Many mourners find this part of the service highly emotional and very upsetting.

This part of the service is not an essential requirement and the curtains do not have to be drawn. Many religious or non-religious services have their own way and do not use the committal words. The staff are there to help you with advice if you so wish.

Cremation procedure

We operate the crematorium in accordance with the Code of Cremation Practice issued by the Federation of British Cremation Authorities. You can request a copy of this code from our office. We also have a useful information leaflet called 'questions people ask about cremation' which is available from the office.

If you wish to witness the placing of the coffin in the cremator then this can be arranged and the chapel attendant will advise you when you can view. If the cremation is the first of the day then you can view straight after the service, however later in the day you may have to come back when the cremator is free. It is only possible to allow up to four family members to witness this procedure. Please consider this when making the funeral arrangements.

When booking let the office know of your intention and they will help and advise. The cremation time varies but usually takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The cremated remains

If you wish, you can collect the cremated remains the next day, however, we will keep them for 14 days to enable you to come to a decision as to their last resting place.

At the end of the 14 days we can keep them longer if you have not decided.

If you intend to bury them away from Salford's cemeteries then you will need a 'certificate of cremation' which we issue free of charge. This will also be necessary if you place the cremated remains at another crematorium. We can give you information to all the choices you have in Salford and if you wish we would advise regarding scattering at sea or taking the cremated remains away.

Choices for final resting place of cremated remains in Salford

The cremation fee includes the strewing of cremated remains in our Garden of Remembrance. A plan of the garden is available from the office. The remains may be strewn on the lawned areas of the gardens with another family member, if you can supply the name and date of cremation to enable the staff to research this information.

Alternatively, the remains may be placed in an existing family grave or a new cremated remains grave may be purchased. Please ask the staff for further information.

The office will advise you of charges and any forms you may have to complete.

Memorial facilities

We have a selection of crematorium memorials listed below:

  1. The Book of Remembrance - a unique artistic record of permanence
  2. Memorial card - personal copies of the Book of Remembrance
  3. Memorial rose bush (at Peel Green) with a commemorative plaque
  4. Memorial tower plaques
  5. Memorial vases with plaque (Agecroft only)
  6. Memorial slate plaque in sunken garden (at Agecroft only)
  7. Memorial plaque (at Peel Green only)
  8. Memorial kerb edges (at Peel Green only)

Chapel of Remembrance

The Books of Remembrance are housed at both chapels. The opening times are:

  • From 10.00am to 4.00pm from Monday to Friday
  • From 10.00am to 2.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays

Memorial services

We hold two memorial services a year on Mothering Sunday and during remembrancetide, to remember our loved ones. Ministers from the Church of England, the Catholic Church and the free churches officiate at these services and a candle may be lit during the service to remember your loved one.

Our facilities are available for any religious or non-religious group to hold a memorial service. Please contact the office for further details.

Additional items that may be organised for the funeral service

  • Flowers - you can provide your own funeral flowers to place on the coffin or alternatively, i.e. Rosemary for remembrance, dried flowers, garden flowers etc. Alternatively, you may contact a commercial florist.
  • Obituaries - if you require these in the local newspapers then you need to make these arrangements yourself or through your funeral director. Some newspapers due to hoaxes do not accept telephone entries and they may require evidence of the death or they will check where the death is registered or with the funeral director. You may have to call at the newspaper office to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Location - we have plans showing our location available on request.
  • Fees - fees and charges are available upon request. The fees may be subject to an increase each year. The cremation fee covers, the administration/registration, the cremation and the staff in attendance. Memorials and cremated remains containers are additional charges.

For those who wish to consider in more detail the subject of funerals, making the right choices for a personalised funeral and dying, the National Death Centre offer a range of services and information that will be useful to you. They are located at:

In the Hill House
Watley Lane
SO21 1QX

Telephone: 0871 288 2098

Charter for the bereaved

The charter for the bereaved was launched on 2 September 1996 in London by the Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration. Salford Bereavement Services are keen to adopt all of the 33 rights specified in the charter, copies of which are available free of charge. There are a number of other free charter leaflets available upon your request to help and to be informative.

This information is intended to offer guidance and is updated when new information is sourced. No responsibility can be accepted for the fact that these details cannot be correct in every case but we will try to give you accurate and up to date information whenever possible

List of useful contacts

  • Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages:
  • Coroners Offices:
    • Salford and Bolton
      Telephone: 01204 527322
    • Manchester
      Telephone: 0161 819 5666
  • Mortuaries:
    • Hope Hospital, Stott Road, Salford
      Telephone: 0161 789 7373
    • Manchester Royal Infirmary
      Telephone: 0161 276 4476
    • Tameside General
      Telephone: 0161 331 6059
    • St Ann's Hospice
      Telephone: 0161 702 8181
    • Christies Hospital
      Telephone: 0161 446 3898
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