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By Liane Castle  08 April 2020 15:10

Jo Williamson, the owner of Albany Funerals in Great Chart in Ashford and Loose in Maidstone, says she has taken more drastic measures opting to suspend all services on safety grounds.

She said: “In spite of the government guidelines, we feel it isn’t safe to carry on booking funerals.

“We are honouring those already arranged, but we’ve stopped all attended funerals until further notice.

“This goes against everything we stand for but we feel it’s necessary to keep people safe.

“It just so strange that people are being told to stay at home except if they need to go to a funeral.

“Even with the limit of 10 guests, hundreds of people are going through the crematoria each day. They’re sitting on the same seats and putting their hands on chairs where someone else was sat so we felt it wasn’t right to continue.”

Mrs Williamson added: “We’ve had six coronavirus deaths registered across both our offices.

“Instead of telling people all the things they can’t do, we want to take a slightly different approach and give people other options.

“A lot of families have decided to come back and hold a service later on in the year which can be really healing.

“For those who still want a memorial, some of our celebrants are now offering over the phone services and even live streams which have been really popular.

“Some families have opted to light a candle in their homes and have friends join in through video links.

“Now is not the only time people have to say goodbye, they can do that in so many different ways.”