Traditional values,

with a modern approach

“We would like to thank you for looking after us … and my dad … so well. A very difficult and sad time was helped by your patience and kindness throughout. I think that dad could not have been looked after better.”

“Thank you for looking after our family and for making such a bad day bearable. It was so vitally reassuring knowing that we were in safe hands. Thank you again from the bottom of our broken hearts”

Your kindness and professionalism went way beyond anything we could ever put adequately into words”.

Supporting families throughout
Kent and Sussex since 1926…

Independent ... Family Owned ... Caring for the Community for over 90 years.

C. Waterhouse & Sons

Coronavirus Update – July 2020

The ongoing pandemic has directly affected everyone, and funeral services since the outbreak are therefore somewhat different to what they were previously. The rules requiring people to self-isolate, shield and to socially distance has not surprisingly caused additional distress to many families having lost a loved one.

We are, as we have always been, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we continue to look after the needs of each family who come to us. Whilst face-to-face meetings at our offices are not currently an option this is under review, allowing for the changes in social distancing. As an alternative to arranging a funeral via the telephone we can offer ZOOM video/audio meetings as an option. A ZOOM meeting additionally offers a solution whereby multiple family members can be part of the decision making and arranging process for funeral arrangements, irrespective of where they may live.

Whilst our funeral arrangers are mainly working from home they all have full access to our IT network and telephony systems, and we have been pleased with how well this revised arrangement has operated during the last 3 months. The health and safety of our staff is still of our highest concern, as well as continuing operationally to being able to look after families requiring our services. As a result of the ongoing situation our internal procedures, along with those as decided at Government level, are regularly being reviewed and revised.

For obvious reasons we must have different procedures in place for deceased either tested or suspected to be Covid19 positive. Whilst this in no way affects how we look after families, and the arrangements for a funeral, it can result in certain differences, such as our bearers using a metal trolley to convey the coffin from our hearse into a crematorium chapel; no embalming and no viewing in our chapel.

The disruption of the pandemic has resulted in different processes being introduced. It has greatly reduced the paperwork which in turn has lessened the burden on families having to travel to collect the Death Certificate and having to visit the Registrar to formally register a death. With the introduction of the electronic transfer of documents, and the removal of the need for a 2nd doctor for a cremation, the speed of processing formal paperwork has become quicker, to such an extent that our industry is making representations to national Government for some of these processes to be kept in place once the pandemic is finally behind us.

To protect both the health of our staff and the families we look after we regret that we are unable to offer some services, which we would ideally like to supply. With the recent change in the social distancing rules we can now offer embalming, and viewing in our Chapel of Rest, for the deceased known to be non-Covid. We are able to allow a maximum of two people to view a loved one in our chapel. Since March we have been unable to supply a limousine, but we are currently making arrangements for our limousine to be adapted to introduce sufficient safety precautions for both passengers and the driver.

Where someone dies at home, regardless of Covid or not, our staff will wear gloves, aprons, masks, and other PPE items. They will ask those present in the house to stay in a separate room whilst our gentlemen carry out their duties. The use of PPE is to safeguard your family, as well as our staff.

Throughout the lockdown period funerals have either been held at crematorium chapels, or with a graveside service in churchyards or cemeteries. Churches have only recently re-opened for funerals on a limited basis, however the rules and limitations as to how many mourners can attend a service is entirely down to each individual vicar/minister, based upon the size and layout of each church. The use of vergers and organists is again vicar dependent and no presumptions should be made as to how each service in a church for a funeral will operate. Some churches have minsters shielding and therefore graveside services may still, in certain situations, be the only option available in the event of burial.

Since the start of the pandemic crematoriums have revised their own rules concerning attendance at services and certain social distancing measures in force. Both Wealden Crematorium, Horam, and Kent & Sussex Crematorium, Tunbridge Wells, offer live webcast viewing of funeral services online, with a 28 day watch again facility. This option has proved very popular during the lockdown period, enabling family and friends not able to attend to view the funeral service via the internet. Our staff will explain the various ‘local’ rules in more detail.

For as long as the current situation continues some crematoriums, along with ourselves, have either held or temporarily revised their normal pricing structure. We have made every effort to reflect the various charges in our detailed ‘Price List’, which you will find on our website. However due to ever changing pricing updates we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, so please do bear with us on this.

In the coming weeks, as procedures and national restrictions change, we will continue to guide our families through these unprecedented and challenging times and we will keep everyone fully informed of any changes, as and when we receive updated information.

The various changes as detailed above are necessary and we ask for your support and understanding at this challenging time for everyone. We are trying to return to providing our families with as normal a service as is practically possible, but we can only do this in line with the rules and guidelines that makes everything as practically safe as is possible for everyone.

Four Generations of Care

C. Waterhouse & Sons is an independent, family-owned, funeral directors, based in the picturesque village of Burwash. Our relationship in looking after families throughout Sussex and Kent has been valued over many decades, with our care and attention to detail being renowned as being of the very highest quality. On a daily basis Dorothy, Tim, Jacky, Clare and Charles Waterhouse, supported by our loyal and experienced team, endeavour to provide  traditional, bespoke or simple funerals, reflecting not only the person who has died, but with the aim of exceeding the expectations of each family we care for.

If your expectations regarding funeral directors are that they’ll be gloomy, austere and very old-fashioned, then meeting us might come as a surprise. As a long established and highly regarded, independent funeral director to our communities for over 4 generations, we have the experience to meet & surpass all your needs, but we feel we do this in our own unique way.

On funerals we all wear our trademark blue pinstripe suits, rather than formal black, and this epitomises us. Smart, respectful, dignified and totally professional. Traditional, but with a modern approach, as you would expect after over 90 years of experience, we are also warm, caring, approachable, contemporary and fully in touch with all of the requirements across the whole range and options of funeral services.

More people these days want a funeral to be a celebration of their loved one’s life and their legacy. We embrace this wish, ensuring our approach to each service is as unique as the individual concerned. We see our role as accommodating and fulfilling each family’s wishes; ultimately delivering a service that truly celebrates a life.

C. Waterhouse Funeral Directors … covering Kent, Sussex & the South East