I write in reply to a letter from Mr Nadin regarding the capacity of the chapel at Burnley crematorium.
The chapel has a seating capacity of 108 which is the third largest seating capacity in neighbouring parts of the North-West and West Yorkshire. The council understands the importance of the crematorium service and recently invested over £800,000 at the crematorium. Funeral directors are aware of the capacity of the chapel and can discuss this with bereaved families when funerals are arranged.
We carry out approximately 1,600 services and on the vast majority of occasions, the chapel meets the needs of the congregation. However, on the rare occasions when there is not enough space in the chapel, a screen and speakers are set up in the reception room at the side of the chapel so the service can be followed in there. We also provide a large screen and speakers outside the main chapel so all mourners can see and hear the ceremony. We feel it is better to give mourners the opportunity to see the service from outside than to not see it at all.
In light of the fact the council has one of the largest chapels in the area, which meets the needs of the vast majority of the services and the arrangements we have put in place for large congregations, as well as the recent significant investment in the crematorium, the council does not have any plans to increase the size of the chapels.
Bereavement and Customer Service Manager, Burnley Council