A cemetery in south-east London has turned to modern technology to allow anyone unable to attend a funeral ceremony to pay their respects by watching and listening to the service via their smartphone, computer or tablet.
Kemnal Park Cemetery and Memorial Gardens in Chislehurst now offers video feed directly from the graveside that is recorded with a roaming camera and then streamed over the 4G network. The cemetery says it is the first in the country to provide this service, which is available for burials and cremations. There are several cemeteries and crematoria already streaming live from within the chapel, but representatives of Kemnal Park claim that offering live streaming from the graveside has never been done before.
The service can be used by friends and family who live outside the UK and can't attend the ceremony, or people who are infirm and unable to leave their home.
The package costs £450 and covers a cameraman, equipment and charges for wireless 4G data. The ceremony is broadcast on a password-secured website and a hard copy recording of the ceremony can also be requested.
Nowadays, people use their phones to capture everything they see, but funeral services are something they feel reluctant to record, commented Michael Burke, operations director at Kemnal Park. The cemetery is seeing a lot of demand from people who want to have the ceremony recorded but don't want to do it themselves, he added.