Cemeteries ‘may be closed at short notice’ says Southwark Council

Katherine Johnston (01 May, 2020)

'I extend my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have lost someone' - Council leader Peter John

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Southwark’s cemeteries may be closed at short notice during the lockdown to protect people attending funerals.

Due to the number of funerals taking place, Camberwell New Cemetery and Honor Oak Crematorium are only open to visitors on Sundays – but could be closed if funerals take place on those days, too.

Camberwell Old Cemetery and Nunhead Cemetery are open from 8.30am – 9pm throughout May unless services take place.

Honor Oak Recreation ground remains open for people to use.

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “These are such tough times for those who have recently lost loved ones and cannot grieve for them, or celebrate their lives, in the way they would normally be able to.

“We have to close cemeteries temporarily while funerals are taking place, for the safety of those who need to be shielded from the virus, and also so relatives and friends have the peace to grieve during the funeral.

“However, as anyone who has lost someone close knows, feelings of grief do not disappear overnight and families still wish to visit the memorials and pay their respects to loved ones.

“Sometimes, this will clash with a funeral happening, and I’m very sorry that we can’t accommodate both at the same time.

“I very much appreciate people’s understanding and cooperation while the immediacy of a funeral takes priority over visiting graves for a short while.

“I hope that things will get easier as we all work to manage this crisis over time, and I extend my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have lost someone.”

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