Frequently Asked Questions 2017-05-16T13:41:40+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

For those unsure about what a funeral entails and the decisions you will need to make, our frequently asked questions are listed here for you to find a quick answer. These questions are often the first things you may think about when it comes to organising a funeral, however, if you have any more questions or would like to discuss arranging a funeral, please don’t hesitate to call us on our freephone number:

0800 0789 636

Should I choose burial or cremation?

If your loved one had a strong preference they would, in all likelihood, have let you know before they died. If they didn’t, the choice is yours – it is not something you should worry about unnecessarily.

To help you make your decision you might think about who the deceased was in life—for example, did they love the countryside in which case maybe you’d like to consider a natural burial?

Do you want to be able to visit a grave? If so then a burial might be a suitable option. If you live many miles away and won’t be in a position to regularly visit or tend a grave, then maybe cremation is for the best.

The cost of burial should be considered – graves can be very expensive and the cost can run to several thousand pounds.

If you are thinking of a burial in the Croydon area, then you should budget for around £4,000. If you are thinking of a cremation, then you should budget for around £3,000.

Funeral Arrangements

What happens at a cremation?

The invited mourners gather at the crematorium and when the cortege arrives, the close family will follow the conductor and coffin into the chapel, followed by everyone else. The coffin will be placed on the catafalque (platform) and the service will start.

Towards the end of the service, the coffin will usually be hidden from view by curtains or be taken from the chapel. Alternatively, the coffin can simply remain on view until everyone has left the chapel.

A close member of the family may witness the actual cremation if requested. The coffin is placed into the cremator where the body is reduced to small amounts of bone and ash. These are removed from the cremator, cooled and placed in a machine that reduces them completely to ashes. These are the cremated remains, which are then placed in your chosen container.

You can elect to have the ashes ‘interred’ in a family grave, scattered in the Garden of Remembrance or choose to scatter them in your own way. There are many options to choose from and you should talk to Rowland Brothers who will advise.

Planning a Unique Funeral

How can I pay?

Payment can be made in cash, by cheque or by all major debit or credit cards. A surcharge of 1.5% is added if your account is settled by credit card. Please let us know you are interested in pre-paying for a funeral and see our pre-paid funerals pages for further information on this option.

Pre-paid Funerals

Is there financial help available?

In certain circumstances, the next-of-kin can receive help with the cost of the funeral from the Social Fund. Claims must be made within three months of death. Contact us for further information on death benefits.

You could be eligible for various state grants; to find out more call Social Security on freephone 0800 666 555. Your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau can also help you.

Paying for the Funeral

How long does it take to arrange and complete a funeral?

The average length of time between the death and the funeral is around 10-14 days. Some funerals, to comply with particular faiths, have to be arranged and completed within 24 hours, however.

If a coroner is involved there may be a much longer delay. Visit the When a death occurs page to find out more about coroners.

Funeral Arrangements

What happens if the death occurs overseas?

We offer a full repatriation service from and to any country in the world. Rowland Brothers International are world renowned specialist in repatriation.

Rowland Brothers International

Do you organise non-Christian funerals too?

We are proud to have conducted many, many religious and civil funerals for clients from an enormous variety of religious denominations and ethnic groups, for information on arranging a funeral with us see our arranging a funeral pages.

Funeral Arrangements

What is a Funeral Director?

A Funeral Director delivers a broad service that carries out all the aspects of a funeral. This includes the planning of all funeral arrangements and the support and guidance to families who have been bereaved. Also known as an undertaker, funeral directors help take care of the embalming, burial or cremation and plan the arrangement of the ceremony required. A Funeral Director will ensure you remember all the details required for a funeral and will liaise with all third parties to help the day go smoothly.

About Us