Southwark’s cemeteries begin to open again

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Southwark cemeteries have begun to open again following updated Government guidance.

The council has decided to reopen cemeteries to allow people who have lost loved ones to pay their respects.

Nunhead Cemetery and Camberwell Old Cemetery will be open from 8.30am to 8.30pm in April, and from 8.30am to 9pm in May.

Both cemeteries will be closed when funerals are taking place “to help make the area safer for grieving family and friends at an incredibly difficult time”.

The council has warned that some closures for funerals would take place at short notice.

Camberwell New Cemetery and Honor Oak Crematorium will only be open to the public on Sundays from 10am to 8.30pm in April, and 10am to 9.00pm in May.

“The cemetery and crematorium will be closed at other times due to the volume of funerals taking place in the cemetery, including on Saturdays, to help make the area safer for grieving family and friends at an incredibly difficult time.

“The later closing time on Sundays is in line with Southwark’s other parks and open spaces during the emergency period, to give everyone additional time to visit safely while maintaining social distancing,” according to the update from the council.”

Guidance for visitors is to stay on the paths and not on lawns unless attending to a grave, not to enter wooded areas, that cemeteries should only be used for exercise in line with national guidance, and to keep dogs on leads.

“Staff are focusing on maintaining a safe, quiet and respectful environment for grieving families during these difficult times.

“Abuse of our staff will not be tolerated,” the council said.

Pictured top: Camberwell New Cemetery

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