Company chairman at AW Lymn The Family Funeral Service and former president of the National Association of Funeral Directors Nigel Lymn Rose said he couldn’t understand the reasoning behind the decision to continue to limit the number of people attending the outdoor part of a funeral, stating that the restriction was causing unnecessary distress to people already suffering.
Nigel, who has dedicated his 50 plus year career to the bereaved in Nottinghamshire, said: “It is time to remove the uniform restrictions on the number of 30 mourners in outdoor settings at funerals, especially for African Caribbean funerals, of which we direct many.
“We have had to deal with some very distressing situations for our clients in recent months where some terribly hard decisions have had to be made at church doorways, cemetery entrances and crematoria, given the rule of 30.
"The crux of the matter is who decides who should be ‘allowed’ to pay their last respects and who should not?
“In the African Caribbean community, it is customary for, on average, more than 100 family and friends to attend a funeral when a loved one passes and this has had such a devastating impact.
"Now that the second lockdown has ended and shops have opened again – it seems to me utterly nonsensical that we cannot remove this 30 person limit for the outdoor part of the funeral service where social distancing can be accommodated and face coverings worn.
“When someone dies, it is paramount that we feel able to show our support and care for the immediate family in the most simple way we know how, as humans, which is to be present.
“This rule means that families feel the deceased are not given the farewell they feel they deserve.
"This isn’t the sort of thing we can repair or correct in the future, it is set in stone, literally.
" We need to see a change in these rules as soon as possible so that no more families have to make these terrible graveside decisions.”