Caring for our community during the COVID-19 crisis
Important information about coronavirus measures
At Walter Carter Funerals, we're committed to ensuring the safety of our team, client families and the community. Here are the steps we're taking.
Last updated: 3 August 2020
The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt throughout the community.
Our team work on the front line and we’re taking the following steps to not only ensure their safety, but also the safety of the range of people we interact with each and every day.
Arrangement and conduct of funeral services
Given what’s happening in our world, we’ve had to make changes to how we plan, arrange and conduct funerals.
We are mindful of social distancing between the Walter Carter Funerals team and our client families. Our funeral consultants may organise some funeral documentation and arrangement instructions at arms length, via email or phone, rather than in the usual face-to-face meeting.
Given this, if you’re seeking to arrange a funeral, please email us at [email protected] or call us on (02) 9389 3499, rather than visiting us at our office to make arrangements.
Attendance by mourners at venues, including chapels and places of worship, is no longer limited. However, social distancing requirements must be observed, including an allowance for a 4 metre square distance between people. All in attendance will be required to register their name and contact details.
In the case of the Walter Carter Funerals gathering space, a limit of 16 mourners will be in place (due to the size of the venue).
The Walter Carter Funerals team are on hand to provide advice about the options available to protect the health of attendees (e.g. seating in household groups, using solo musicians rather than groups, live streaming the service etc).
Alternate ways to ‘attend’ a service
Alternate arrangements that will give mourners (other than immediate family members) an opportunity to grieve are available.
We can arrange for a video recording, allowing those not in attendance to watch the service at a later date. We can also arrange for live streaming online, providing the opportunity for family and friends to experience the service in real time.
Another option is to hold a memorial service after the crisis period has passed.
To manage attendees, we’ll be asking our families to invite attendees personally and suggesting publishing only a memorial notice.
Limiting social contact
If you’re holding a small service for immediate family, we ask that you refrain from social contact.
We understand that these measures are difficult during times of grief, where a hug, kiss on the cheek or simply a touch on the shoulder is the most natural way to show care and support.
However, we ask that personal contact be kept to a minimum during services to minimise the risk of exposure for everyone in attendance.
People who should not attend
Anyone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days will not be permitted to attend a funeral service. Similarly, those who have come into contact with a diagnosed person cannot attend.
If you are feeling unwell or fall into a high-risk group (e.g. you are older, have a weakened immune system or have a chronic medical condition), you should not attend a funeral service.
Further, in accordance with government directives, any person entering New South Wales from Victoria must hold a valid permit and meet the permit’s conditions before attending a funeral.
During this period, we need to change our service regarding the compilation of tribute slideshows.
If you are able to email photos through to us, we can certainly compile the slideshow. However, we will no longer be handling hard copy photos.
Of course, you can also compile the slideshow yourself and then provide it to us to play on the day.
Care and attention
The team at Walter Carter Funerals will always take the time to understand what you need. Our client families are our priority. We do, however, need to approach each arrangement on a case by case basis, as we seek to meet your needs and comply with government guidelines.
Guidelines are changing frequently, so we all need to be aware that we must be flexible. We are living in changing times and, as such, need to be flexible.
Thank you for your support and understanding
We are acutely aware of our role as funeral directors and we thank you for your support and understanding.
Walter Carter Funerals has been caring for our local community for more than 130 years and we’re committed to continuing to do so.
If you have any questions, please contact our team on (02) 9389 3499.
Coping with grief during COVID-19
The spread of the coronavirus has taken a huge emotional toll on the community.
It’s changed the way we communicate with our friends and colleagues. It’s changed how we fill our leisure time. And it’s changed how – and if – we can spend time with our families.
Importantly, it’s changed how we experience grief. However, by being aware of your emotional, social and spiritual health, and deliberately focusing on your own self care, you can mitigate the effects of this ‘grief pandemic’.
Find out more at yourloss.com.au