Cremation Costs & Planning Arrangements

Guide to Cremation & Expected Costs

A Cremation is the most popular Funeral and funeral rite in the UK currently.


There are many reasons why people choose cremation over burial


Either due to not wishing to be placed under ground, most likely that cremation is cheaper or they wish their ashes to be scattered somewhere meaningful.


The majority of British funerals are cremations and they can be as personalised a service and even with final resting place.

How much does a cremation actually cost?

Depending on the area cremations can be up to a third cheaper than that of a funeral with burial, check our funeral calculator for an estimate. This is mainly due to there being no land plot to lease, less people involved to carry out procedures and an urn will, in most cases, cost far less than a coffin or casket.

If you use a Funeral Director the inherent costs for organisation are usually similar. There will be different sized urns, made of different materials, with a varying degree of decoration and even the choice of keepsake urns for multiple family members, with engravings.

While the cost is less, it can rise due to personal needs of elaboration. You may also choose to have a final resting place, in a mausoleum which will be an additional cost. You may save quite a bit of money by organising a cremation yourself and not using a funeral director, but it is not without its hardship.

Arranging A Cremation And Religious Connotations


If you are arranging a cremation yourself, you will need to obtain Cremation Form 1 and fill out all relevant particulars. There may also be an additional form to compete at the chosen Crematorium. Simple questions with the final one being what you wish to do with the resulting ashes. A funeral director will handle this if you employ one.


Depending on the person’s religion when they died, they may or may not find cremation possible. You will be able to discover this when talking with their place of worship. 


Most people and religions are now comfortable with cremation though you may have to find a clergyman within Orthodox Judaism, Islam and some Christian groups who will happily carry out the request and what the accepted practices and rituals are.

Planning The Cremation And Service

The only difference between a Cremation and Burial is the method of interment. You can expect the same kind of funeral service in a Church as in a Crematorium. 


  • Hymns can be sung. 
  • Prayers and parables read. 
  • The congregation just as involved with words said and Eulogy present. 
  • It can also be a non religious affair.
  • Mourners may either follow a coffin into the Crematorium or the coffin will already be in place, visible at the front of the congregation. 
  • Placed on the catafalque – a wooden holding zone, ready for cremation. 

The committal tends not to be watched by people present, instead a facade such as a curtain motions the coffin to another side, where cremation will then take place, it is usual for the coffin to form the ashes also.


A crematorium tends to gather flowers from the guests and place them on the route outside of the building, this is where family members and friends will meet and talk to each other. Reading messages of comfort and listening to stories before saying goodbye. A service for a cremation is much the same as that of a burial.

Where Should Ashes Be Taken?

It is worth remembering that not all people understand burials and cremations and the need for continually revisiting the past. Some people wish to deal with their bereavement and move on. There is a large majority however that seek to put in place a lasting memory or at least one that will last even if there’s no final resting place.


A person may have declared in their will that they wish their ashes to be spread at a certain location or in many. There are laws governing where this might be and there are also future visiting rights that you may like to take into account.


With regards visiting, you can spread ashes across any private land providing you have the owner’s permission. There is no guarantee the land won’t get sold in the future though.


Another desire may be to have ashes spread over a partner’s grave. This can also be achieved, you will need the Cemetery or Church’s permission. 


They also provide a Garden of Remembrance where ashes can be scattered, this will probably be a communal area with seats where anyone can visit at any time and other ashes may be scattered too.


For open spaces, there are currently no laws to prevent scattering of ashes at sea or in coastal areas. When it comes to rivers and lakes you may need permission.


Please contact government authorities such as the Environment Agency before proceeding with any service such as these. If wish to repatriate ashes, you will also need to gain permission for taking the ashes out of the country, gain authority from the destination country and the airline. A special funeral director can aid with these contact points.


You may also consider a cremation with burial. While there are costs involved, you can have an urn buried next to a grave. Placed in the headstone of a grave or placed in a mausoleums or similar resting place offering by a cemetery.


Unique options are to divide the ashes amongst family members and have keepsake urns, novel ideas such as changing the composite material of ashes into glass keepsakes and jewellery is also a popular method of remembrance.

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