Dedicated by The Lord Bishop of Rochester on 2 December 1958, the Kent & Sussex Crematorium echoed architectural thought and design of the era carrying out its first cremation six days later on 8 December.
Crematorium Grounds Plan
Since then the crematorium building and its grounds have benefited from many improvements encompassing structural refurbishment and replacement cremators in 1994, followed in 2008 by redecoration and replacement soft furnishings to improve the overall ambiance of the crematorium chapel. In 2014, the crematorium additionally benefitted from a £1.1m replacement of cremators with state of the art emissions monitoring and filtration equipment and provision of a new catafalque and curtains.
The crematorium complex features one chapel, a public waiting room with toilets, and drinks machine, together with a room displaying our Books of Remembrance and enclosed open air flower court in which to view floral tributes following a funeral service.
The crematorium chapel can accommodate up to 90 people seated, with the entrance hall providing additional space for up to 30 people standing. It is a room designed to facilitate funeral services of all denominations and sects and does not display any fixed religious symbols or icons. A wheelchair is available in the entrance hall and can be accommodated within the chapel. Seating in the chapel can be moved or rearranged on request.
The format and type of funeral service required is a personal choice, and either your funeral director or person chosen to conduct the service will be able to advise you.
The entire funeral service may take place at the crematorium, or a service can be held elsewhere followed by a ‘committal only’ service at the crematorium.
Our cemetery chapel offers an alternative to the larger crematorium chapel and has many of the media facilities found at the crematorium. It can accommodate up to 55 people seated in a more ‘traditional setting’.
Alternatively, you may not want a service at all, nor wish to attend the crematorium or cemetery chapel, and to assist this we are happy to accommodate the coffin direct to our crematory.
To assist in the smooth running of all funeral services, set times are operated in our crematorium chapel, and these will determine the amount of time available to you for your funeral service.
The first and last two services of each day are allocated 30 minutes (consisting of 20 minutes in the chapel and 10 minutes to enter and exit the chapel). All other services benefit from 45 minutes (consisting of 30 minutes in the chapel and 15 minutes to enter and exit).
We can be flexible and offer additional consecutive service times if you anticipate a longer service and/or a large attendance of mourners.
Music can play a very important part in any funeral service, providing a fitting background and tribute.
It is common for music to be played on entry to and exit from the crematorium chapel, with either hymns being sung or songs being played during the actual service.
We offer a wide selection of equipment for you to select from to ensure the service is as you’d like it. Our chapel is equipped with its own organ, and an organist can be arranged by your funeral director to play a wide variety of hymns, classical and modern music.
Our digital music system has a comprehensive on-line library for you to choose from, and our supplier can also source more unusual pieces of music that are commercially available.
We also have two large screens mounted in the crematorium chapel for a ‘visual tribute’ to be played during the service, photographs and/or video footage being set to music of your choice.
Additionally we can also arrange audio and visual recordings of the service where required, as well its Webcasting for an additional fee.
As part of our ongoing service offering to families, our media system can be used to broadcast the funeral service privately and securely over the internet, thereby enabling friends and relatives to view the service anywhere in the world.
The funeral service can be viewed either ‘live’ on the day by logging in at the correct time, or ‘on demand’ up to 28 days after the service.
This service will only be provided on request, and for an additional fee when you will be provided with a unique username and password that you can pass onto friends and relatives of your choosing.
Please be aware that due to the nature of the internet, no guarantee is given that the link, or data, will be uninterrupted or error free. Vivedia and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are not liable for any corruption to, delay in receiving or other defect relating to data dispatched over the Internet.
If you choose a service in the crematorium chapel, it is usual for the coffin to be transferred from the hearse to the catafalque, where it rests in view of the mourners throughout the service. Mourners can either follow the coffin into the chapel or take their seats beforehand, ready for the service to begin.
At the point of committal in the service, the coffin can be lowered out of view or it can remain in situ until all mourners have said their farewells and left the chapel. Alternatively curtains can be closed around the coffin at the point of committal. At the end of the service the mourners leave the chapel by the side exit door which leads into a covered floral display area where any floral tributes can be viewed.
Following the funeral service the coffin is transferred to the crematory, which houses two
modern cremators, where the cremation will take place. There are then a number of options
which you can choose from as to the final resting place for the cremated remains, or ashes as they are commonly known.
You, or your funeral director may collect the ashes. Alternatively, they may be laid to rest in the crematorium grounds. Where ashes are to be left at the crematorium they will normally be scattered, occasionally they may be placed individually into the ground (without an urn or container) next to a previously buried set of a relative’s ashes.
To witness the scattering or burial of the ashes it will be necessary to make an appointment with the crematorium office within 14 days of the cremation taking place. Should more time be required to consider your options, they may be left for up to 28 days without charge, or for a longer time after payment of the appropriate fee. You may also wish to consider a burial or scattering within the cemetery.
For those who prefer to take the ashes away from the crematorium, it will be necessary to choose a suitable container for transportation. You can select from a range of containers available from the crematorium as part of the funeral arrangements or one provided by your funeral director.
…you made a difficult time so much easier. You are a delight…
Thank you for all your help with the plaque for our baby…the SAND’s Garden is such a special place and somewhere we hope to come and visit for years to come.
Thank you for all the kindness and help you have given me on arranging the interment of my husbands ashes…
A beautiful setting and excellent care from the staff…. I cannot think of any way in which it could be improved.
Overall, a high quality service that met our needs.