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Arranging a cremation

Most people will use a funeral director to arrange a cremation

Your funeral director has access to the Crematorium preliminary cremation application form* and the statutory cremation application form and will assist you in their completion and submission to the crematorium.

* By signing this form you are accepting the following main terms and conditions (this list is accurate at time of printing (April 2024), is not exhaustive and subject to change with notice)

1. This completed form and all statutory forms must be delivered to the crematorium at least 48 hours prior to the cremation service.

2. Any changes must be submitted in writing by the funeral director

3. The coffin must comply with the ‘FBCA Instructions to Funeral Directors’ and it must not contain items which could become hazardous during cremation or lead to non‑permitted emissions

4. Music is uploaded from the funeral director onto an automated audio/visual system’. Visual tributes, webcasts and service recordings can also be requested.

6. To minimise our impact on the environment the cremation may occur up to 72 hours after the funeral service or, exceptionally, up to 120 hours after

7. In the rare event we cannot cremate the deceased at the booked crematorium, the deceased will be transported to our other site, cremated there and cremated remains transported back. The cremation certificate will display the other crematorium’s details, paper records will be held there for the prescribed period but computer records will be held at both sites. Your funeral director will be informed prior to this occurrence.

8. Sefton Council participates in a metals recycling scheme; if you do not wish for metal from your cremation to be recycled please inform your funeral director and we will return any recovered metal to you

9. Please bring photo identification with you if you are collecting ashes

11. Any flowers left behind after the funeral are left at the owner’s risk

12. For details about what we ask you, and why, and what happens to your information, please see our Privacy Notice.

This document can also be made available in other languages, large print, audio tape and Braille.

Polish: Ten dokument jest także dostępny w innych językach, jako duży druk, tasma audio oraz druk braille a.

Chinese: 该文件可以以其他语言呈现,也可提供大字版本,录音带和盲文。

Portuguese: Este documento também pode ser feito disponivel em outros idiomas, impressão grande, fita de áudio e Braille.

Arabic: ةبوتكمو ،يتوص طيرش ىلعو ،ةعوبطم ةريبك ةخسنبو ،ىرخأ تاغلب ةمجرتم ةقيثولا هذه ةحاتإ اضيأ نكمي

نيفوفكملل ليارب ةقيرطب

Russian: Этот документ также доступен на других языках, большим шрифтом, в виде аудио записи и шрифтом Брайля.

Preliminary Application Form 

Please complete the below form. This is a Preliminary Application Form for a cremation within Sefton.

Once completed please email a copy of your completed form either to Southport Crematorium or Thornton Garden of Rest:

Southport Crematorium:
Thornton Garden of Rest

Preliminary Application Form (word 40KB)


Sefton Council owns and operates two crematoria; Southport Crematorium and Thornton Crematorium. Funeral service times are available from Monday to Friday.

The standard service time is 30 minutes, though extended services may be arranged through the funeral director. This allows for various options:

  • a full funeral service with committal
  • a committal only, following a church or other service elsewhere
  • a funeral service prior to a burial taking place at any of the Council’s cemeteries, or elsewhere
  • a memorial service following a burial or cremation elsewhere

In addition, families who do not want a service of any kind may opt for a direct committal at a reduced fee.

The chapels may be used for any religious denomination, or none, and we will cater for any specific requirements wherever possible.


If you have any questions get in touch with the relevant crematorium, your funeral director or have a look at our FAQs below:

For the music during the service, we offer a vast range of recordings so that families may choose the songs, hymns or pieces of music that are meaningful for them. For a full library of music visit

If you require something else please let your funeral director know at least 3 working days before the date of the funeral.

There is also an organ which may be used during services (a fee for its use applies, and the organist is not provided).

No, not at all. The deceased's family can make any service arrangements which they consider to be appropriate. 

If required, no ceremony needs to take place at all.

As long as the principal mourners, the funeral director and the person conducting the service are in agreement, the service may be video recorded or transmitted online.

Please note that there is no WI-FI at the crematorium and you would need to use your own recording equipment.

To minimise the impact on the environment, we must operate to strict environmental standards. This means that any items included in the coffin for presentation or viewing purposes, including any jewellery or floral tributes, must be removed by the funeral director before the coffin is conveyed to the crematorium.


In order to minimise the impact on the environment, some cremations will take place the day after the funeral service. In these cases, the coffins are kept overnight at the crematorium in a secure, hygienic storage facility.

Yes, there is a window that allows you to see the coffin being placed into the cremator. This would need to be arranged in advance with the crematorium office. There may be restrictions on the time of the service and an extended service time may be required.

All metals (mainly orthopaedic implants) that remain after cremation are sent away and smelted as part of a recycling scheme.

Any profit generated by the scheme is donated to charity. If you would prefer to have any metals returned to you instead please let your funeral director know.

All ashes are normally ready for collection by 1pm on the working day following the cremation

The ashes are presented in a clearly labelled, strong cardboard container (23cm x 15cm). Other types of container are available and your funeral director or the crematorium staff will be able to advise you on these.

Following the cremation, the ashes may be:

  • Collected from the relevant crematorium by the funeral director or family
  • Scattered within the crematorium grounds 
  • Buried in a private grave in one of the cemeteries. You must have permission from the grave owner and apply to the council before going ahead to ensure these are properly registered.


Southport Crematorium and Thornton Garden of Rest Crematorium are committed to the sensitive and respectful care of all of those entrusted to us. Our policies and processes for infant cremation are aligned to the latest guidance on Infant Cremation, as per the recommendations of Lord Bonomy’s Infant Cremation Commission (June 2014 Scotland). Full statement here:

This guidance is fully supported by the national representative bodies, the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA), the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), the Cremation Society of Great Britain (CSGB) and the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC). In accordance with the guidance provided, the ‘Ashes Policy’ operated within Sefton is set out below:

Definition of ashes
In line with Lord Bonomy’s recommendations, Southport Crematorium and Thornton Garden of Rest Crematorium consider cremated remains and ashes to be the same, and supports the commission’s definition that ashes are “all that is left in the cremator at the end of the cremation process, and following the removal of any metal.”

Return of ashes
Our approach to the cremation of babies and infants is designed to maximise the recovery of ashes. 

We will employ best practice methods, such as the use of specialist computer programmes, and our staff will be vigilant during the cremation process and if appropriate will adjust operational conditions when necessary in order to protect the ashes of babies and infants, and therefore maximise their recovery.

We are confident that the equipment and processes adopted for infant cremation at Sefton Council maximise the likelihood of recovering ashes. In the unlikely event of non-recovery of ashes, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the cremation process within 48 hours to understand why this is the case. The results of this review will be documented and contain details of any adjustments to our procedure deemed to be necessary, and will be available to next of kin/parent(s) if they wish to view the results. We will at all times adhere to our identification procedure that guarantees that the ashes resulting from individual cremations which are returned to parents are those of their baby.
Shared cremations Where a shared cremation has been authorised, and hence ashes are not individually identifiable, we will take the same care throughout the cremation process, including steps to maximise the recovery of ashes, and will scatter/bury the ashes within the crematorium’s designated area. The location will be recorded for future reference.

Disposal of Ashes
In the case of a private cremation and the disposal of ashes, Southport Crematorium and Thornton Garden of Rest Crematorium will only act upon the written instruction of the parent who is acting as the ‘Applicant for Cremation’, or other person nominated in writing by the parent. In the case of shared cremations we will only act on the written instruction of the designated person at the relevant hospital, who is acting as ‘the Applicant’.

Disposal of Metals
Consent will always be sought from ‘the applicant’ for disposal of metals recovered from an individual cremation, and they will always be provided with information on the options available.

All cremations of babies and infants will be registered at the crematorium, with all information as contained in forms and certificates being retained indefinitely (this may be in electronic form). If ashes are scattered or buried within the grounds of the crematorium, the final resting place will be recorded. Where ashes are to be collected, the details of any person authorised by the applicant to remove/collect the ashes, and the date on which the ashes were collected will be recorded. The policy of this Cremation Authority is designed to provide an audit trail from the receipt of initial funeral instructions to the final disposal of ashes, either by collection from the crematorium or by scattering or burial within the confines of the Gardens of Remembrance, or other such designated area.

Questions or Queries
If you have any questions or queries about the cremation of your baby, you can speak to staff at Southport Crematorium or Thornton Garden of Rest Crematorium.

You could get a payment plan if you are on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral. More information can be found on the website.


Cremation Fee
Child under 17 years old No charge to family (Paid By CFF)
Standard Cremation Fee £970
Direct Cremation Fee From £380

Last Updated on Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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