“The Swan silently crossed the river,
No reflection, not even a ripple…
And she looked deeply into my eyes asking ‘Are you really, really ready?’
I nodded, as tears rained from my face”
Extract from the poem “Swan Song”
South Essex Crematorium located at Corbets Tey, just outside of Upminster Town centre, is perhaps known as one of the most familiar places for funerals, specifically cremations, in South Essex. For quite a while, it was the only crematorium in the area, having been built in 1957. It comprises 2 chapels; South and East. The gardens, which extend right back past the building, are delightful and lead down to a large pond with bridges. Even as a place to simply contemplate and remember, it is serene and peaceful, despite being one of the busiest crematoriums in the United Kingdom. All of the pictures here for South Essex Crematorium were taken by me. Service time in each chapel for a single-slot Funeral is 30 minutes maximum.
You can find out more about the South Essex Crematorium, as well as see more pictures on their website here.
The South is the larger of the two chapels at South Essex Crematorium, and has the ability to seat approximately 120 people in a two level arrangement. In the South Chapel, you also have the option to have a moving image tribute to your loved one.
The East Chapel at South Essex Crematorium is for smaller, more intimate funerals and has a seating capacity of approximately 40. However, there is no facility to have a moving image tribute in the East Chapel.
Forest Park Crematorium is one of the newest crematoria in South Essex, located just near to Hainault Forest Country Park between Collier Row and Chigwell. It’s currently 15 years old and has one Ceremony Hall, which is quite large. You can find more pictures of the grounds, and also of the interior of the Ceremony Hall here . Service time in the chapel for a single-slot Funeral is 30-32 minutes maximum.
Bentley Crematorium is a delightful place. Situated just outside of Brentwood town centre on the Ongar Road, it has only been there for about 6 years and does not look like your typical crematorium building – especially as it’s all in white. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful with a fountain and pond near to the car park. Bentley has one chapel which is decorated in a light pastel green, and also benefits from lovely natural light owing to its glass pyramid ceiling. The picture of Bentley Crematorium below was taken by me. Service time in the chapel for asingle slot Funeral is 45 minutes. More information about Bentley Crematorium, can be found here
Chelmsford Crematorium is another in the County, and comprises of 2 chapels; North and South. The North Chapel is very intimate, whilst the South Chapel can seat a much larger number. Service time in either chapel for a single-slot Funeral is 45 minutes.
City of London Crematorium is situated on Aldersbrook Road, close to Manor Park. It has 3 cremation chapels, spread over 2 buildings. The North and South Chapels are in the new crematorium, built in 1971; then you have the East Chapel, which is the Traditional Crematorium Building – opened in 1904. Service time in any of the chapels for a single slot Funeral is 30 minutes maximum.
Basildon Crematorium, which can be found here.
Parndon Wood Crematorium, which can be found here.
Enfield Crematorium is located on the A10, just a couple of minutes drive from J25 of the M25. It was built in 1938 and is one of London’s largest. It has 2 chapels, North and South, which are identical apart from subtle differences in colour and curtains – both beautifully decorated with stained-glass windows to the front and back of each chapel. Both chapels seat the same number of mourners and have the possibility to show Visual Tributes. Service time in either chapel for a single-slot Funeral is 45 minutes. The image below was taken by me on 11th Feb 2020.
Woollensbrook Crematorium, Hoddesden, Hertfordshire. Service time for a single-slot Funeral is 45 minutes. More ifnormation: which can be found here.
We are really lucky to have some lovely Woodland Burial sites in Essex. Peaceful Herongate Wood situated in Herongate, between Billericay and Brentwood, is just one of them. This place is simply stunning – just off of the A127 & A128 you wouldn’t think it was anywhere near a main road. The ducks from the pond are so friendly that they even venture into the staff office. Service time 60 minutes maximum.
Herongate Wood also offers the opportunity for families to have the entire Funeral service outdoors, behind the Hall of Remembrance, with its stunning natural vista which stretches for miles and offers a refreshing alternative (weather permitting) to having the service inside. I’ve been lucky enough to lead 3 such Funerals there and have seen how positively this impacts on people.
Herongate Wood also incorporates a full Funeral Director company, so help is always close at hand.
Greenacres, Epping Forest Woodland Burial Park, is another beautiful place – the pictures below are my own, and you can also find more information about them here. It is an absolutely beautiful place to walk around. Not only can loved ones be buried here, but there are also ash scattering areas if the cremation has taken place elsewhere. You can walk for miles here, and feel extremely at peace in the park. Service time 60 minutes maximum.
Even looking away from a funeral (or memorial service) held in a crematorium or at the graveside, or even a woodland burial park, it is possible to have a funeral in almost any suitable space, provided the owner gives their consent. This may be an option to consider before moving on to a crematorium later for a short committal ceremony.
Essex is also very lucky to have the beautifully stunning Old Park Meadow, which is situated near to Great Dunmow. The Ceremony Hall is bright and large, with a view out onto the field. The Funeral Service can be held with the bi-fold doors open, or closed. All pictures below were taken by me in August 2019. Service time at Old Park Meadow is 60 minutes maximum. More information about (and pictures of) Old Park Meadow can be found here.
All of the places above are where you are most likely to find me leading a Funeral Service. I am familiar with the Chapels at each venue, including those which have more than one.
I have also led Funerals at Manor Park Crematorium; East London Crematorium and Southend Crematorium; Eastbrookend Cemetery, Ripple Road Cemetery and Waltham Abbey Cemetery.