Published on 12th August 2021

Grass lined path leading up to a newly built cotswold stone chapel buildings

Cheltenham’s bereavement services are ‘excellent’ and the cemetery and crematorium is ‘excelling’, according to a recent inspection from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities.

The five-yearly FBCA inspection is an independent check of the crematorium’s performance against statutory, regulatory, and industry code of practice standards, and provides a detailed report of potential improvements and recommendations.

The one day visit, which took place in June this year, considered a number of areas, which all scored highly, including for example:

  • Administration – accurate records and efficient processes
  • Ceremony facilities – webcasting, alternative services, accessibility, emission testing, training of crematorium technicians
  • Premises – toilets, wheelchair provision, on-site defribulator, signage, private rooms and waiting area
  • Grounds and maintenance – range of memorials, dedicated memorial areas, bins and taps, management of floral tributes
  • Service and staff- access to the book of remembrance, support of religious and cultural requirements, a good process for customer feedback and liaison with funeral directors

In these areas, the service scored an impressive 99.6% against a national industry average of 95%, with no recommendations.

The inspector also scored the service highly against a number environmental factors including for example the use of sustainable and recyclable memorials, filtration technology (to filter/treat harmful emissions), and the process followed to reduce the energy required to heat the building.  In this area, the service scored an impressive 75% against an industry average of 72%.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for safety and communities said: ‘’I am proud that in Cheltenham, we offer a high quality, professional service that our residents can depend on. To score above the national industry average is incredible and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff, who worked tirelessly through the pandemic.  I have recently visited and I thank all of them personally for their professionalism which shines through.

‘’We are fortunate to have two beautiful contemporary yet sensitively designed, state of the art chapels, with a variety of facilities to cater for every need.

‘’It’s reassuring, having had such positive results from the inspection, that we are offering the best.

We recognise that there are even more things we’d like to do, particularly to further reduce our environmental impact and this forms part of our on-going plans.’’

The FBCA crematorium inspector found what they described as an, ‘’excellent level of service provision with Cheltenham’s bereavement service, operating fully in accordance with all areas of compliance and excelling in those areas compared with the national average.”

The next scheduled inspection will take place in five years. Visit  to find out more about the service.


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