In recent years direct cremation has increased in popularity, and now accounts for 1 in every 14 funerals. This is largely due to its affordability compared to more traditional funerals, and at Harbour we offer direct cremation for just £895, with no upfront costs or hidden payments.
Losing a loved one is a challenging experience, and this is often only worsened by the additional financial strain it can incur. Direct cremation helps to ease this stress, providing a low cost alternative to expensive funerals. Direct cremation also provides the flexibility to plan a memorial however you would like it. This can involve waiting for a certain time of year when the weather is more favourable, or at a time which holds sentimental value. It may also allow families to choose a time and place which is more convenient for them.
What is direct cremation in Essex?
Direct cremation is also known as unattended cremation. This is because it separates the cremation itself from the funeral service, and as such there are no mourners in attendance. This is what makes direct cremation more affordable than traditional funerals in which there is a service attached, as there is no additional expense of hiring out a chapel or venue, or the services of a celebrant. Instead, the deceased is cremated at one of our regional crematoria and then the ashes are either scattered in the Garden of Remembrance, or returned to your family.
Direct cremation means that families can arrange their own service or celebrations of their loved one’s life, at a time and price which works for them. For many families, the scattering of the ashes is then incorporated into these celebrations.
How much does direct cremation in Essex cost?
The cost of a direct cremation with Harbour starts at just £895, a fraction of the price of a traditional funeral. Harbour also does not take deposits so there are no upfront payments or hidden costs.
For our standard price of £895, your loved one will be collected from any mortuary or hospital in England or Wales, and provided with an environmentally-friendly, British-made coffin. They will then be looked after until the cremation itself, which will take place privately at one of our regional crematoriums. You will be informed of the date and time in advance, should you wish to mark the occasion. Following the cremation, the ashes can be scattered in the crematorium’s Garden of Remembrance, free of charge. Alternatively, they can be returned to you in a sustainably-sourced, wooden urn made by British craftsmen, complete with an engraved nameplate, for the additional fee of £91.
Can I attend the cremation?
Unfortunately not. In order to keep costs down, direct cremations are unattended. This is because there is no chapel or other venue hired out whilst the cremation takes place, as such there are no mourners in attendance.
Attended funerals are available with our partner company, Willow Lake in Basildon, our regional crematorium. If you would prefer to arrange a funeral in which there is a service with mourners present, please contact a member of the Willow Lake team on 0800 464 7277, or alternatively, send them an email to [email protected]. Willow Lake offers funeral services for £1995, with financing options available.
What happens next?
Also, please find some helpful contact information for local hospitals, registrars, and the local coroner below.
Essex Hospital Bereavement Offices
Basildon University Hospital’s bereavement office phone number is 01268 394850 and they are open from 10AM to 4PM every weekday, except for public holidays. The bereavement office address is Basildon University Hospital, Nether Mayne, Basildon SS16 5NL but please call ahead to book your appointment. Deaths that occur at this hospital should be registered with the Essex County Registrar, please see below for their contact details.
Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford’s bereavement office can be reached by calling either 01245 514020, 01245 516558, or 01245 514820. Their office hours are 8AM to 4PM each weekend excluding public holidays. You can also email them at [email protected]. Their address is B240, Broomfield Hospital, Court Road, Broomfield, Chelmsford CM1 7ET but please contact them to book an appointment before visiting. Deaths that occur at this hospital should be registered with the Essex County Registrar, please see below for their contact details.
Colchester General Hospital bereavement office telephone number is 01206 742 812. Deaths that happen at this hospital should be registered by the Essex County Registrar.
Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow has a bereavement service team that can be contacted by phoning 01279 82 7090 or 01279 827428. ANy deaths at this hospital are registered with the Essex County Registrar.
Southend University Hospital bereavement office phone numbers are 01702 385492 or 01702 385494. They are open Monday to Friday 10AM to 4:30PM. Their office can be found at Southend University Hospital, Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RY but please make an appointment before visiting. Deaths that occur at Southend University Hospital should be registered with the Southend Registrar.
Register a Death in Essex
If you need to register a death with the city of Southend, you can book an appointment online via the following link. Alternatively, please call them on 01702 215009 or email [email protected]. They can be found at Registration Service, Ground Floor Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6ER and are open weekdays from 9AM to 5PM excluding public holidays.
If the death occurred in Thurrock then please book your appointment online on the Thurrock borough website. Or phone 01375 372 822 or email [email protected]. Your appointment will either be held at Thameside Complex, Orsett Road, Grays, RM17 5DX or the Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL. Both offices are open 9AM to 5PM every weekday, excluding public holidays.
For all other deaths in the borough of Essex, please register with the Essex County Registrar. Their phone number is 0345 603 7632. They will inform you of the correct registry office location for your appointment.
All unexpected deaths in Essex are examined by the Essex Coroner’s Service. Their office is located on the ground floor of Seax House, Essex County Council, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX. You can call them on 0333 0135 000 or email [email protected]. They are open weekdays from 8:30AM to 4PM, except for public holidays.