This is what a live streamed funeral is like for families during the pandemic

Families have shared their experiences of what a live streamed funeral is like as numbers of those attending services are restricted during the cornavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 3:48 pm

Sunderland City Council’s online funeral streaming service, Obitus, has helped families across Wearside gain closure by allowing them to virtually attend funeral services so that they can say goodbye to loved ones.

The council began its streaming service on May 4, 2020, and 288 services have now been live streamed from Sunderland Crematorium.

The streaming service is free while the social distancing restrictions at the crematorium remain in place.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The funeral for Gwendoline May Outen (inset) was livestreamed due to coronavirus restrictions

Currently up to 30 people allowed at a socially-distanced service, however, the responsibility for restricting the numbers sits with Funeral Directors.

Read More

Read More
Read more: Hays Travel announces job losses of up to 878 after Spain quarantine ...

The family of Gwendoline May Outen, who sadly died in May, were among those who decided to live stream the funeral service, to allow more people to say goodbye.

Daughter Rowena Gilchrist, said: “Relatives from further afield who weren’t able to travel were happy they could be part of the funeral service, and some people even watched it later via the link.

Sunderland Crematorium.

“It was very difficult not being able to have the funeral we would have wanted but being able to watch the service back again has brought us some closure, and we are planning to hold a get-together in her memory when it is safe.”

Wheatley Smith, who planned friend Robert Waugh’s funeral, also chose to use the streaming service to allow a larger number of Robert’s loved ones to take part.

He said: “I am amazed it was even possible, I was really happy we were able to invite more of Robert’s friends to pay their respects in this way.

Gwendoline May Outen sadly died in May.

“Many of his friends and family were shielding or self-isolating and they really appreciated that they were still able to take part in the ceremony.”

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Michael Mordey, said: "It's unfortunate that many people have not been able to pay their respects in person because of the emergency measures put in place to comply with Covid-19, but I am pleased that the live streaming has helped people going through this difficult time.”

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

You can subscribe to this website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Simply click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.