Here you will find links and information on cremation, including details of the local crematoria, frequently asked questions about cremation and ideas on what to do with cremated remains.

There are two local crematoria in the area; Southend-on-Sea Crematorium and Basildon & District Crematorium (also known as Bowers Gifford or Pitsea.)  We are able to carry out a service at any Crematorium in the country and often travel to Chelmsford Crematorium, Corbets Tey, The City of London and further afield.

What Can Be Done With Ashes?

Ashes can be scattered in a private location or interred in a cemetery, churchyard or garden of remembrance.   They can also be kept at home in a decorative urn or placed in a garden urn.   Ashes can be split into keepsake urn and given to family members or used to make cremation jewellery.

Some of the more contemporary ideas includes ashes firework displays, scattering from a hot air balloon or sending them into the stratosphere.

Whether you are thinking of something traditional from an interment in a churchyard or contemporary such as a Viking Longboat Urn, A.R.Adams will be happy to advise on the many options available.

Scattering Ashes

Scattering Ashes
Scattering Ashes is an excellent internet resource for guiding you on the options available.  There is also an online shop where urns and keepsakes can be purchased.

Promotional Code
Use code ARAD01 when checking out to receive a 5% discount at Scattering Ashes.

Southend-on-Sea Crematorium

Southend Crematorium

Southend-on-Sea Crematorium
Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 5PX
Tel: 01702 603907

Southend Crematorium, opened in 1953, is located in Sutton Road, just a couple of miles north of Southend town centre.

The Crematorium grounds comprise of two service chapels The West chapel and The South chapel. The West chapel is the larger of the two and can seat up to 100 people with plenty of room for standing mourners. The South chapel is ideal for smaller services and can seat up to 40 people with minimal standing room.

With use of discreet cameras Southend Crematorium are able to Live Stream the funeral service over the internet so that family members who are unable to attend can view the service as it happens. DVD recordings of the service are also available.

There are also five acres of memorial gardens within the crematorium grounds. These include formal gardens, a sunken rose garden and a rock garden.

The crematorium car park has space for eighty vehicles and is situated adjacent to the main entrance.

The Cemetery, Crematorium Memorial Chapel and grounds are open to the public during the following times:

Summer: 1st April – 30th September: 9:00am – 6:30pm
Winter: 1st October – 31st March : 9:00am – 4:30pm

Basildon Crematorium

Basildon Crematorium

Basildon Crematorium
Church Road, Bowers Gifford, Basildon, Essex,
Tel: 01268 584411

The Crematorium was built in 1998 and occupies an eighteen acre site overlooking the Thames Estuary. Basildon Crematorium has distant views across Kent hills.

Set inside Pitsea cemetery grounds, it was developed in agreement with Basildon and District Council. There are now two chapels available at Basildon Crematorium which are light and spacious, furnished with natural woods and brick.  A modern music system is available as well as a traditional organ. The Chapel has been designed to cater for all faiths and can be adjusted to meet the particular needs of the bereaved.

With use of discreet cameras Basildon Crematorium are able to Live Stream the funeral service over the internet so that family members who are unable to attend can view the service as it happens. DVD recordings of the service are also available.

The chapels have LCD display screens which can be used for photo slideshows and video presentations during the service.

The crematorium offers adequate car parking for those visiting the crematorium for a service.

The opening times are:

Office & Book of Remembrance Room:
9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday
Book of remembrance Room: (Weekends and Bank Holidays)
10:00am – 4:00pm.
Open 24hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Cremation FAQs

Is cremation more expensive than burial?

No. Generally the cost of a grave is much higher than the fee charged for cremation. The only additional charge for cremation arises from two doctor’s certificates that are issued and need to be paid for. The current charge for the two legally required Doctors Certificates is £160.00 (This cost does not apply if the Coroner becomes involved.)

What religious ceremonies can I have with a cremation?

The services for burial and cremation are the same apart from the committal sentences that are said. The service may take place at your own place of worship followed by a short committal service at the crematorium, or you may prefer to have the whole service at the crematorium chapel. Alternatively, you may prefer a civil ceremony to be conducted, or even no service at all.

How is a cremation arranged?

The Cremation Regulations are complex. A number of forms are required to be completed and forwarded to the crematorium in advance of the service. These forms are reviewed by the Medical Referee at the crematorium who ensures that it is ok for cremation to take place. The Funeral Director will ensure that all the necessary documentation for cremation is obtained and then presented to the Crematorium.

Who is the Applicant for Cremation?

If a cremation is to take place an application for cremation will need to be completed. The Applicant is usually the next of kin, close relative or executor to the person who has died. During the funeral arrangement the funeral director will go through the application forms with you ensuring they are completed. The funeral director will then retain these in order to forward them to the crematorium on your behalf.

What is ‘The Inspection of Certificates’?

By law two doctors are required to complete a certificate for cremation. The applicant for cremation is allowed to inspect the certificates which are completed by the Doctors. If the applicant wishes to view the certificates then no appointment can be made at the crematorium until they have been inspected.

Can a cremation be arranged without the services of a Funeral Director?

Yes. A next of kin or executor may arrange the cremation service themselves. Cremation authorities will provide advice to persons arranging a cremation without the use of a Funeral Director and will provide copies of the required applications and forms..

Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator?

Yes. The Crematorium must be informed that you wish to witness the committal when the cremation is booked. This is so that staff can be informed and they will then make the necessary preparations on the day. Each crematorium operates differently and there may be a limit to the number of people that can witness the cremation.

How soon after the service will the cremation take place?

The ICCM Guiding Principles state that cremation should be commenced no later than 72 hours after the service of committal. Where cremation may not be carried out on the same day, the Applicant for Cremation shall be notified. This means that under normal circumstances the cremation is usually carried out shortly after the service and certainly on the same day.

Is the coffin cremated with the body?

Yes. The ICCM Guiding Principles state that the container and the body shall be placed in the cremator and cremation commenced. The coffin or container used shall not be opened or otherwise disturbed, other than in exceptional circumstances and then only with the express permission and in the presence of the Applicant for Cremation.

Are coffins sold back to Funeral Directors?

No. The coffin and the body inside it are cremated together.

Can more than one body be cremated at a time?

No. Each cremation is carried out separately. The aperture through which the coffin passes in the cremator and the cremation chamber are of dimensions that will only safely accept one coffin. Exceptions can be made in the case of a mother and baby or small twin children, so long as the next of kin or executor has made this specific request.

How are cremated remains kept separate?

A cremator can only accept one coffin at a time and all the remains are blown out of the cremator before the next cremation. An Identification card is used throughout the whole process until the final disposal, thereby ensuring separation and correct identification.

What usually happens after the cremation is finished?

All fragments and all non-consumed metal items are placed into a stainless steel cooling pan located in the back of the cremation chamber. All non-consumed items such as metal from clothing and hip joints are divided from the cremated remains. Items such as dental gold are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary polyurn.

Can I have a memorial if I choose cremation?

Yes. There are options for memorial plaques beneath rose bushes, trees or shrubs and memorial benches with plaques. You may also have an entry inscribed in a book of remembrance. Your nearest crematorium will provide details of their facilities. Cremated remains may also be buried in family graves that are for coffined burials. It is also possible to purchase a cremated remains grave where a memorial can be erected.

What happens after cremation?

The law relating to cremation requires that cremated remains are disposed of in accordance with the written instructions of the applicant (usually the executor or nearest relative). Most crematoria have a range of options which might include scattering or burying in the Garden of Remembrance, placing in a columbarium or interring in a small family vault or niche. Should a crematorium not be contacted with a decision after a period of time has elapsed you may receive a letter asking you if you are ready to go ahead with disposal. If you are not, simply tell the crematorium that you need more time (a fee may be applicable). Should a crematorium receive no reply to their letter they may legally scatter or bury the cremated remains within their grounds after giving 2 weeks written notice. When arranging a funeral with A.R. Adams the funeral director will discuss the options for disposal with you. It might be recommended that A.R. Adams collect and store the cremated remains on your behalf until a further decision about their disposal be made.


As your local funeral director in Rayleigh, Southend, and Benfleet we are here to help and advise you in whatever way we can.
We are dedicated professionals who provide a personal service to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

01268 743102 for Rayleigh or 01702 586383 for Thorpe Bay