The cremation process explained

Find out what to expect on the day.

Our bereavement services team are here to help you arrange a memorable and sympathetic funeral for your loved one. We can guide you through the process and make you as comfortable and informed as possible.

Cremation process

  • Mourners gather at the crematorium in our waiting room adjacent to the chapel. Sometimes the coffin will be placed in the chapel prior to mourners arriving, alternatively the family may wish for mourners to wait until the coffin arrives in the hearse and the mourners follow the coffin and family members into the chapel. The identity of the deceased is confirmed by the chapel attendant when the coffin arrives with the hearse by checking the nameplate against the information the crematorium holds for that service.

  • The content of the service itself is entirely the choice of the applicant of the cremation and is usually decided with the funeral director and/or officiant of the service. Towards the end of the service the curtains may close around the coffin (it is down to the family if they wish for this to happen).  

  • At the end of the service the mourners leave the chapel, you will have the opportunity to speak to other mourners and look at the floral tributes. Families will quite often ask for donations in memory of the deceased, these will either be collected during the service or a basket is placed in the cloisters are for people to donate at the end of the service should they wish to.

  • When mourners have left the chapel, the coffin is collected by the crematorium attendant and the nameplate and age are checked once again against crematorium records and input into the computer system in the crematory. An identity card with a unique cremation number and including the name of the deceased and date and time of the funeral is attached to the cremator, this ID follows the remains through every stage of the process.

  • The coffin is transferred into the cremator and the cremation takes approximately 90 minutes. When the cremation is finished, all that is left is small amounts of bone fragments, these are taken from the cremator, cooled and placed in a machine which reduces the bone to ashes. These are the cremated remains that are placed into a container.

  • The cremated remains are then labelled and stored in the crematory for scattering or interment or transferred to the bereavement office for collection depending on what the applicant has instructed.

Flower room

The flower room at Guildford Crematorium has been redeveloped as part of our improvement works. The room is used all year round for people to leave floral tributes in memory of loved ones. The room has a sink and worktop to prepare flowers and a small stock of vases to display floral tributes. This room is only for the display of floral tributes not personal memorabilia and is checked on a regular basis by crematorium staff.

New floral tribute room 1
New floral tribute room 2