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Cremation and ashes

Harbour View has its own crematorium; it is in the basement under the Long Barrow. Harbour View Crematorium is one of only four in Dorset and the only one that is in Purbeck. We specialise in offering a relaxed approach, allowing plenty of time for families to celebrate the funeral service, which can be held in any of our ceremony halls (see separate page for ceremony halls).

Cremation is very different to burial as it is not a final act. Whether or not we intend there to be, cremation always results in ashes (cremated remains) which must be given a final disposition. Indeed, one of the funeral service liturgies, licensed by the Church of England, uses the words ‘we commit the body to be cremated in preparation for burial’ which acknowledges that the act of cremation in itself, is not the final event.

The ashes can be available for burial or scattering a fairly short time after the funeral service has concluded however it is very important we agree this timing in advance should it be necessary. Therefore it is possible to arrange for the burial or scattering of ashes to be held later on the same day as the funeral service. This has distinct advantages if you are considering entertaining your family and friends to some refreshments after the funeral service and would like to conduct the final farewell with the cremated remains before everyone goes home.

Some families find long-term comfort from having a tangible position for where the ashes are buried or scattered. We have a number of areas dedicated for these purposes where a grave can be purchased into which ashes may be buried; the same grave can be used many times by the same family should they wish over many years and a stone memorial can be placed to commemorate those who have died. We have memorial trees, benches and shrubs that are accompanied by a Brass plaque to commemorate the deceased. We also have memorial kerb-stones that line paths around the gardens of remembrance and these can be engraved to commemorate the deceased. Away from the physical locations we have the Book of Remembrance which is accessed via our web site and is an extensive and wide-ranging way to remember the deceased for those that are not able to visit Harbour View regularly. In addition there are memorial books and similar that can be purchased associated to the Book of Remembrance.

It is possible to have ashes combined into keepsakes such as items of jewellery, gem-stones and works of art such as glass pictures. Such items can be purchased singularly or as a collection so that a number of family members may share in the commemoration. It is often the case that the ashes of the deceased are remembered in more than one way – this can often satisfy the varying needs of members of a family. For example, a grave for ashes can be taken as a long-term memorial and place to visit, while a small amount of the ashes are scattered in a favourite place that was important to the deceased, perhaps even leaving a small amount to be worked into a memorial keep-sake for the family to keep at home.

Please see our separate pages in respect of memorials and ashes graves or ask us if you would like to see examples.

We encourage family and friends of the deceased to join us when ashes are buried or scattered. Even on occasions when perhaps just a small part of the ashes are being scattered on the standard Garden of Remembrance, we host a weekly service of remembrance when each individual is remembered prior to the scattering.

The rules governing cremation require an individual that is related to the deceased, usually a near relative or an Executor, to apply and give consent for the cremation; this is a simple procedure involving completing and signing a form (formally known as Cremation 1). It is very important to understand that once cremation has taken place, the person that signed the form (known as the Applicant) is the person we as the cremation authority are obliged to take instructions from in respect of cremated remains. We cannot take instructions from any other party, irrespective of their relationship to the deceased, once the cremation has taken place.