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Now you can “virtually” attend your loved one’s funeral

PUBLISHED: 07:51 04 January 2018

Live-streaming of funeral services has been introduced at Gorleston crematorium. 
Photo: Andy Darnell

Live-streaming of funeral services has been introduced at Gorleston crematorium. Photo: Andy Darnell

Archant © 2007

Mourners unable to attend funerals in Gorleston will have the chance to tune into a webcast instead.

John Brown of Caister who died suddenly at the age of 68. His daughter Donna has spoken of her outrage over the cost of screening photographs at his funeral service in Gorleston. Photo: Donna BrownJohn Brown of Caister who died suddenly at the age of 68. His daughter Donna has spoken of her outrage over the cost of screening photographs at his funeral service in Gorleston. Photo: Donna Brown

Starting this week friends and family members of the deceased will be able to pay their respects “virtually” thanks to new technology at the crematorium in Oriel Avenue.

The aim is to allow people who cannot travel for whatever reason - whether they live nearby or on the other side of the world - to feel part of the service.

A copy of the service can also be recorded and saved to a disc or memory stick.

The system also allows relatives to show photographs on a screen or video clips, capturing the essence of the person who has died and something about the way they lived their life and their impact on others.

Dawn Bowen, bereavement officer, said it had not been used yet but she expected uptake to increase as people got to know about it.

The video will be shot from a fixed camera trained at the front of the chapel showing the minister and the first three rows.

One woman, however, who was keen to use the new technology to pay a visual tribute to her father said she was “gobsmacked” at the cost.

Donna Brown was told it would cost £110 to play a slideshow of 20 photographs during her father’s favourite song.

The plan was to show images of Beatles-fan John Brown, 68, taken from the family album of his wedding day, and with his young family playing on the beach.

But now the 35-year-old nurse from Ormesby St Michael is in two minds.

She said: “I am not sure how these costs can be justified and it seems really unfair. Surely there can be very little overheads but charging over £100 to show 20 pictures of my dad is disgusting.”

A webcast costs £85, a DVD recording £55, and a single picture £25.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “Each year we review the crematorium and cemetery fees and charges as part of the council’s budget setting process for the coming year.

“As part of this process we undertake some benchmarking with other nearby crematoria and burial authorities.

“Whilst some fees for services differ between areas we do our best to remain competitive and affordable for our borough.

“Our full service cremation fee continues to be the lowest amongst other nearby crematoria.”

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