Crematoria introduce online funerals

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Cheshire East Council is starting to webcast funeral services at Macclesfield and Crewe crematoria to allow people who cannot attend the service to take part from anywhere around the world.

Orbitas, the Council's arms-length company which manages cemeteries, crematoria and bereavement services, is offering the bereaved the facility to view the service privately and securely on the internet.

The service will only be available for family and friends on request, who will be given a password to access the website. The broadcasts are live but remain accessible for seven days after the funeral.

Councillor Paul Findlow, Cheshire East cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: "These webcasts are intended as a way of helping families who may have spread out across the world. The service is designed very much with the distant relative or ill friend in mind."

Councillor David Marren, chairman of Orbitas said: "There will always be people who cannot attend a funeral and they will have very good reasons for not being able to.

"This service allows people who may have health issues, are hospitalised or who simply just live too far away to be a part of the service. It will allow them to observe, take comfort and to mark their respect from anywhere, worldwide.

"We are also able to offer DVD and CD audio recordings of the funeral service to provide a lasting tribute for loved ones."

Cheshire East Council, Orbitas