The Funeral

When arranging a funeral, we take all requests with sensitivity and compassion, doing our very best to provide you with the perfect service for your loved one. As a result of this, we ask that all requests are as detailed as possible, with clear instructions, so that we can provide a service to your satisfaction. Our services range from the simplest funeral to the most elaborate. Whatever the extent of the arrangements, we are here to provide help and advice for all aspects of the funeral, whether it’s travel, tributes or legal matters.

At Havills, we are able to provide various elements to personalise the funeral. We believe that a funeral should be a celebration of life, therefore it is right that you represent your loved one in the right way. Our specialist services include a variety of hearses including the following; vintage hearse, horse-drawn hearse, motorcycle hearse. We are also able to provide musical accompaniment including a bugler and a Scottish piper. Service funerals can also be arranged. If you’d like any of these services please let us know and we can implement these into any plan.  

When arranging a funeral, you can rest assured that we will make every effort  to accurately estimate our costs. This also goes for any fees paid on behalf of the relatives of the Deceased, i.e. to cemeteries, crematorium, clergy, churches, doctors etc. These cannot be guaranteed on the initial estimate as they can vary considerably, however we will keep you informed at all stages of the planning and can guarantee no hidden costs. If you’re thinking ahead to the future, we also provide pre-paid funeral plans.

We know that it is an important part of the grieving process to make sure you’ve said a proper goodbye. For that reason, our Chapels of Rest are provided for families to visit if they so wish. If this falls outside of normal working hours, we can still help. Please telephone us on 01795666355 so we can ensure that a member of staff is made available for you.

Floral tributes are a beautiful way to remember your loved one and offer a great way to honour their personality. Any tributes that you have had made can be delivered to our premises on the day of the funeral so that we can make sure that everything is in order. At your request we will also remove any tribute cards after the funeral for placing in a memorial album. We are also available to help and advice on floral arrangements if you require additional support.

The certificate of death from the doctor must be taken to the Registrar. Deaths in the County of Kent (except Medway) may be registered at any of the main Registrar’s Offices provided by Kent County Council.

Helpful Information

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Department for Work and Pensions

Did you know that you may be able to obtain financial help from DWP? If you currently receive certain benefits from the government, you may be eligible to a contribution to go towards the overall cost of the funeral. You can find out further by going to

SAIF independent funeral directors logo

Codes of Practice

Havill Funeral Directors are proud to follow the guidelines as set out by The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). This ensures that we deliver a high quality level of service, in keeping with the National body. Further information on these guidelines can be found at

Letting People Know About A Death

Telling others about the death of a loved one is a very difficult task in what is already anemotionally painful time. As well as informing family members and friends of the death, thereare also companies and organisations that need to be notified.

Deciding How to Tell People

Initially, you may feel overwhelmed by the burden of informing others, so it is important toconsider ways that will make the process easier for you.


It may help to begin by making a list of the people you wish to notify of the death. This willinclude family members and friends, as well as places of work. From this point, you candecide how you wish to inform these people of the sad news, which you can work your waythrough over the coming days.


Considering the relationship someone had with the deceased will often help to determinewhat format you choose when notifying them of a passing. There will be people who you caninform over the telephone, however there may be others, such as family members or veryclose friends, who you feel should be told face to face.


If possible, try to share the news within a day or two so as to avoid people finding outaccidentally, which can cause additional upset. Sharing the responsibility of notifying otherswith fellow family members can be beneficial as it helps to ease what can be anoverwhelming burden of having to inform everybody by yourself.

Informing Official Organisations

The emotional challenge of informing relatives and friends of a death can take its toll; butequally, notifying the variety of necessary organisations can be a difficult task. Although itmay feel like a burden, informing businesses and bodies of a death can help avoid futuredistress caused by being contacted unexpectedly due to them not being aware.


Organisations you may want to consider contacting include banks, insurance and pensionproviders, utility companies, and government offices. Many support sites, such as theBereavement Advice Centre, provide details of ​people to inform​.


To stop any unwanted marketing post, you may want to consider using the BereavementAdvice Centre’s ​Junk Mail Suppression Service.​

Tell Us Once

To help simplify the process of informing all the necessary government departments of a death, the government has made available the Tell Us Once service. This service allows you to report a death to all necessary government departments at once, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and your local council.


When registering the death, the registrar will let you know if the service is available in your area, and provide you with contact details and a unique reference number allowing you use of the service. If available in your area, the service can only be used within 28-days of the date that you register the death.


Before using the service, ensure you have all the necessary personal documentation and details to hand. This includes:

  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Passport number
  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle registration number

If this service is not available in your area, you will need to inform the relevant government bodies yourself.


For more information on the Tell Us Once service, see the government website where you can find details of the process and required documentation.


If you would like personal advice and support, or are interested in the funeral services we provide, please contact us and speak with a member of our friendly team at Havill Funeral Services.

Visiting the Chapel of Rest

The chapel of rest is a place where many people will go to say their final goodbye to a lovedone. Here, we explain what a chapel of rest is, and what you can expect when preparing tovisit one.

What is a Chapel of Rest?

A chapel of rest is a room or a building that is typically inside or attached to a funeral home.Here, those close to someone who has passed away can visit and see their loved onebefore the official funeral takes place. It provides people with an opportunity to say goodbyein privacy, and in their own time.


To visit, it is best to speak with the funeral director to arrange this; they will be able to tell youwhether you are able to attend the chapel of rest.


Chapels of rest do not have a set, distinct look and design, but all will include a number ofsimilar features in order to serve their purpose practically. They will have a catafalque, whichis a place where the deceased will be placed either in a coffin or a casket; there will also beseats for mourners to sit, and there is typically a heavy set of curtains covering any windowsto help ensure privacy.

Chapel of Rest Etiquette

As with funeral ceremonies and other places of rest, there are some generally acceptedrules that should be observed when attending a chapel of rest. However, for more specificguidelines on how to behave, you can speak to the funeral director or next of kin of thedeceased.

Can I Take Photos in a Chapel of Rest?

This can vary, so it is important to speak with the funeral director or the next of kin to find outif you have permission to take photographs in the chapel of rest. This can be a sensitivesubject in these circumstances, so double checking with the person organising the funeralwill help avoid any unnecessary distress or offence.

Can I Talk in a Chapel of Rest?

You are free to talk in a chapel of rest. The environment is seen by many as a place wherepeople can vocalise their feelings and emotions and say their goodbyes to a loved one. It isworth noting that you should be mindful of those around you and ensure that you are beingrespectful to those who are present.

What Should I Wear to a Chapel of Rest?

Unlike many funeral ceremonies, dress-code at a chapel of rest is usually more informal.Typically, you can dress how you like when attending; however, the family may wish forpeople to observe a particular dress-code for personal, religious or cultural reasons.


For more ​funeral advice​, or to get more information about our chapel of rest, please feel freeto ​contact us​ today.