Matters worrying you – Your concerns

Grace Mary House, Eachelhurst Road

As people only arrange a few funerals in their lifetime, we are sure that you will have concerns and questions.

Hopefully, below, are some of the answers to those questions. If the question troubling you is not mentioned, then please ask one of our team for help. We are here to answer all of your concerns.

How much will the funeral cost?  We provide a Standardised Price List. This is designed to help families to think through options and help to make choices and is very specific on pricing. We are also upfront with our bespoke funeral costs.

We have no money, savings or insurance cover and cannot afford a funeral. What will happen? Please be honest with us.  We are a family firm and there are very few rules that are set in stone. If you tell us your situation we can offer advice and arrange a funeral closest to your budget. We can help you apply for grants from the Department for Work and Pensions, and if the worst comes to the worst, we can set up a payment scheme. If we don’t know, we can’t help. Please don’t be embarrassed.

Is a burial more expensive than a cremation? Yes. There is an increasing shortage of space in cemeteries and the price of a grave has increased dramatically in recent years. Some cemeteries have no space for new burials.

Does the Funeral Director have to do everything? No. We can do. We can take all of the arrangements out of your hands, following our initial consultation with you, and arrange everything so that the funeral is exactly how you want it to be – giving you time to look after yourself and the rest of the family. However, if there are areas where you wish to be more involved, it is certainly possible and we will assist you every step of the way. Our role is to guide and support you.

I don’t go to church, so I do not know a vicar to take the service. Don’t worry. We can arrange for a member of the clergy to contact you and to take the service.  All you need to do is arrange a suitable time with them to come and visit you to discuss funeral arrangements. This is often the case.

I’m an Atheist. Can I still have a funeral? Yes, you can have a Humanist funeral. This is a non-religious funeral with no reference to God, the Bible and no hymns are sung (although non-religious music can be played).  You can have a service in the crematorium chapel, and if it is to be a burial you can have a graveside service or a service in our funeral home.

We have a mix of religions and faiths in our family. What do we do? The best thing is to talk to us about it but it is possible to have a religious funeral (which includes the Lord’s Prayer) but is mainly focussed on the life of the person who has died or to have a Civil Funeral, which is carried out by a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals, which can be tailored to your exact requirements in terms of content.

What happens in a funeral arrangement? Before we meet to make funeral arrangements it helps if you can discuss some of the basic details with the rest of the family – even if it is just to decide whether it is burial or cremation. When we meet, we help to arrange the kind of funeral you think your loved one would have wanted, by asking lots of questions – but the answers are down to you. We will guide you and make suggestions, but the decisions are ultimately yours.  Once we have built a picture of the kind of funeral you require, we turn to completing all the necessary documentation and paperwork.

I want some rock music played. Will I be allowed to? Yes! There is no restriction on what you can or cannot have played, as long as it is on an original CD and therefore legal.  There are restrictions on timings at the chapel, so we need to know in advance if a double slot is required. Some churches will not allow certain music, but it can be played at the committal.

Can a member of the family take part in the service? Yes, and it is encouraged. Whether it is to do a reading or to write a special message, to play a musical instrument or to bear the coffin in to the ceremony, it all helps to make the day personal and special.

Where is my relative taken between the time of death and the funeral? When can we see them? We transfer your loved one as soon as we are able to, after the relevant paperwork is completed.  In the majority of cases your loved one will remain at Grace Mary House until the time of the funeral. We try our very hardest for you so that you can come and see your loved one as quickly as possible after the death. So, once all the legalities are complete, we dress them and place them in their coffin, and transfer them to their own room within Grace Mary House, where in most cases they will stay.

Can I be buried at home, in my back garden? Actually, yes, and if you want it to happen, just mention it.  The information has to be put on the title deeds and we have to inform Severn Trent Water. If you make it known this is your wish we will sort the arrangements and try to obtain permission.

Is there such a thing as a more ecological funeral? Yes, and we have been members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors since the beginning.  We can advise you on an alternative to a wooden coffin, arrange woodland burials and offer advice on how to reduced the impact of the funeral on the environment.

Do I have to wear black to a funeral? Not necessarily.  Although it is customary, like all areas of funeral etiquette it is getting more relaxed.  You may feel that a sombre colour such as grey or navy blue is more suitable.  Sometimes, families may request that mourners wear bright colours, or to not dress in black. The important thing is to feel comfortable and to fit in with the sense of occasion.

What is embalming? A process which slows down the natural biological processes, maintains a healthy and safe environment for visits to the chapel of rest and allows the deceased to maintain a dignified and restful pose when in the coffin.  We recommend the procedure if you wish to spend time with your loved one at our funeral home in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield.

What happens to the coffin once the service at the crematorium finishes? Sometimes the crematorium has curtains which close around the coffin at the end of the service.  When this happens, you cannot see the coffin but it is still there.  The cremation does not happen behind the curtains. The coffin does not move whilst you are in the chapel.  Once the chapel is empty the coffin is taken from its platform (known as the “catafalque”) through to a different area of the building for the cremation.

Are the handles taken off the coffin before the cremation? What happens to the jewellery and photos we left in the coffin? There are very strict laws surrounding cremation in the UK. As Funeral Directors, we take the coffin exactly how you left it, and when the crematorium receive it from us in the chapel the coffin cannot be opened, or interfered with in any way, without permission from the Department of Constitutional Affairs (formerly the Home Office).

How can I be sure they are the cremated remains of my loved one?Every coffin is cremated individually. At the funeral home, we check the identification of the person against that of the name plate on the coffin. At the Crematorium, the Attendant checks the identification on the coffin before it is placed in the cremator. The cremator is only big enough to accomodate one coffin at a time, plus the law states that “coffins must be cremated separately”. The cremator is identified on the outside, and once the cremation has taken place and the cremated remains are cooled they are placed in to the urn, which is also identified.

I want to take the cremated remains to our favourite holiday destination to be scattered. Is that possible? Yes.  We have a side selection of light weight caskets and urns that would be suitable to take as hand luggage plus we would arrange all the necessary paperwork and declarations. We also have a range of smaller sized caskets and urns if you only wanted to take a small amount with you.

It seems such a waste to leave the flowers at the crematorium, can I take them away? Yes, absolutely.  They can go back to your house or to a family grave.  Sometimes, they are taken back to nursing homes if they are suitable but this practice is getting rarer, as different homes have policies in place, and we have to obtain permission first.

Green funeral pre-paid plans

As with our ‘at need’ funerals, with our pre-paid plans we like to start with a blank page. Then together we talk and we help you to find the best way for you you to say goodbye. Such an important rite of passage should be personal, and we are here to guide and support you.

A pre-paid plan (and indeed, our “Personal Wishes” pre-arrangement plans) lifts the burden of making funeral arrangements, to truly reflect the life lived,  at the time of  great emotion, from the family.  Our Funeral Plans, like our funerals, offer a unique, bespoke service which is truly personal to the family in question.

For some people the choice of coffin is important.  TV has highlighted the beauty of a woven bamboo or wicker coffin through a series of high profile funerals in recent years. Or maybe a simple cardboard coffin is what you would prefer which could be decorated by your friends and family.

For others it is the woodland burial which is most significant.  With grave space in traditional cemeteries being at a premium and in limited supply, it can be seen as the most sensible option.  Being at one with nature and in beautiful surroundings, it still gives family the opportunity to “visit” once in a while but removes the duty of maintaining a traditional grave and memorial.

Occasionally, families want to be very ‘hands-on’ and may wish to transport the coffin to the funeral in their own vehicle or assist with carrying and lowering the coffin. Others might want no funeral or mourning dress. Others might want a combination.

The important thing to us is that you get the funeral you want. For more information on our bespoke pre-paid Funeral Plans or Personal Wishes pre-arrangement plans, then please contact us. You can also download our Standardised Price List

At Daniel Ross Funerals, Walmley, we pride ourselves on providing a memorable, distinguished funeral which doesn’t have to be based on expenditure. Often it is the attention to the smallest details that truly personalise.  When it comes to environmentally friendly funerals, we are proud to be members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors (AGFD) and to be on the Natural Death Centre’s list of Funeral Directors (the only one in Sutton Coldfield).

Useful Telephone numbers – Register Office

Daniel Ross Funeral Directors in Sutton Coldfield provide a compassionate and sensitive funeral service and cover all Birmingham and West Midlands areas including Coleshill, Tamworth, Lichfield and Walsall.

Telephone us directly (24 hour service) on 0121 313 0054 for a completely no obligation quote.

Once the death has occured the GP or hospital will give you information regarding the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (if it was an expected death). Once this is available you will have to arrange to visit the Registrar for the area in which the death occured.

We can make this appointment for you – Just telephone us, we are here to help.

  • Sutton Coldfield Register Office – Council House,  King Edwards Square,  Sutton Coldfield, B73 6AN. Tel: 0121 675 2902
  • Birmingham Register Office – Holliday Wharf, Holliday Street,  Birmingham, B1 1TJ. Tel: 0121 675 1000
  • Coleshill Register Office – 19 Parkfield Road, Coleshill (Appointments made through Atherstone Register Office).
  • Lichfield Register Office – Old Library Buildings, Bird Street, Lichfield, Staffs. Tel: 01543 510772
  • North Warwickshire Register Office – Warwick House, Ratcliffe Street, Atherstone, CV9 1JP. Tel: 01827 713241
  • Nuneaton Register Office – Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warks. Tel: 024 7634 8944
  • Solihull Register Office – Library Square, Homer Road, Solihull. Tel: 0121 704 6099
  • Tamworth Register Office – Church Street, Tamworth, Staffs, B79 7BX. Tel: 01827 475885
  • Walsall Register Office – Civic Centre, Hatherton Road, Walsall, WS1 1TN. Tel: 01922 652260

Appointments are usually required to register a death. We recommend you make contact as soon as possible to avoid delay.




The General Register Office (GRO) has recently moved. Should you need to contact them their details are:-

Certificate Services Section
General Register Office
PO Box 2

Tel: 0845 603 7788 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Saturday 9am to 4pm)


The Department for Work and Pensions (formerly the DSS) can be contacted on 0800 055 6688 or via

The Coroners Office, should you need to contact them, are at  50 Newton Street, Birmingham, B4 6NE or on 0121 303 3228.

You will also need to contact the DVLA if the deceased person drove or owned a vehicle. Their postal address is Swansea, SA99 1AB. Further information can also be gained from

Support & Advice

Most people feel like they need a bit of support following a bereavement, or help from specialist charities. A selection of contact details are listed here.

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90

Birmingham Samaritans – 0121 666 6644

Cruse (Birmingham) – 0121 687 8010

Banners Gate Counselling Centre – 0121 354 6544

Sands (Stillbirth & NeoNatal Death) – 0207 436 5881 (local support groups available)

National Association of Widows – 024 7663 4848

St John’s Walmley Support Group – via church office on 0121 313 0413

Please contact us if you require a telephone number that you do not see here.



In memoriam donations

It is possible to have donations to your chosen charity instead of having flowers.

  • If you have asked for donations in lieu of flowers we are happy to collect them on your behalf.
  • We make a list of all who have donated.
  • We finalise the donation account after about a month and contact you.
  • We forward the donations to your chosen charity and a list of those who have donated to you.
  • For discretion we do not list every individual donation amount, just the donors and the grand total collected.

We can receive donations on the day of the funeral but are not able to give a receipt, so would prefer to receive them in the office on Eachelhurst Road, Walmley, Sutton Coldfield.

Donations should be clearly labelled.


Sometimes, it is necessary to exhume a buried coffin (or indeed a coffin which is in the crematorium building which is yet to be cremated).

This may be immediately – for example, if the coffin has been sealed and the family wishes to have an item out of the coffin but the act of committal has already taken place – or 50 years or more later. It can be for a number of reasons, and not always at the request of the family.

We are able to provide a full exhumation service including liaising with all third parties including the cemetery and Environmental Health department. We provide a full professional service  from the initial enquiry until the coffin is laid to rest for the second time, and beyond.We also arrange for the completion of all paperwork including Coroner’s Warrant, Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA, formerly the Home Office) Licence or an Ecclesiastical Faculty.

For more information, please contact us at our Sutton Coldfield Funeral Home.

International Repatriation – taking someone home

In today’s world, it is quite common for people to pass away not only away from home, but not even in the same continent. This requires ‘repatriation’. We can provide a repatriation service to any part of the world.  Each country and airline has their own regulations so full advice, guidance and price can only be given upon application.

As a general rule, you will need to know of a funeral director in the home country who will receive the coffin and make arrangements for the funeral, once the coffin has arrived.

It is possible to have a funeral locally prior to leaving for the airport. You may also wish to travel on the same aeroplane, once we know the details.

Through consultation we are able to provide a bespoke service to you and your family. We may need to bring third parties in to the arrangements, particularly where a translation of documents is needed.

If you are wishing to repatriate your loved one (in Birmingham it is quite common to repatriate to areas of Eire, for example) then try to remember to tell the Registrar when you attend to register the death.

Our services are provided as per our funerals carried out locally in areas around Sutton Coldfield and Erdington. We will arrange for any specialist coffin required, and if you wish to visit your loved one in the chapel of rest at our funeral home in Eachelhurst Road, Walmley, prior to the repatriation, then you are welcome.

This service is often not as expensive or as complicated as people first think. The only additional costs generally come from the transport costs by the airline, and the fact that two Funeral Directors have to be involved (one in each country).

Helping bereaved adolescents

Children’s grief will often take them on an emotional roller-coaster but everyone’s bereavement journey will be unique. Grief is normal and necessary and should not be bottled up or covered up, and it is not something you can get over like an illness.  Society tends to think that children should either be “completely protected” or that they are resilient and will “bounce back” without any support.  In our experience, bereaved children experience the bewildering pain of grief, but with support of those who love them they heal.

It is important too that you and other members of the family also have permission to grieve and that you can help each other through this awful experience. Children look to the adults around them to see how to behave when something happens, and this is no different when someone has died. It is not going to damage the children if they see you cry in front of them or with them. It is helpful if you can explain your feelings, “I was just having a little cry because I miss her and sometimes it is hard”.  Saying things out loud helps children to understand their world.  Children are very sensitive to their surroundings and they pick up on feelings and atmosphere within the family. They are likely to worry or blame themselves and may think they shouldn’t talk about the person who has died or show their feelings.  It will help their grieving if they see you are grieving too.

Within families, every member is different and so will grieve differently and unconsciously try to balance each other out – so if one is sad, another might support them by trying to cheer them up. It is done with the best of intentions, but it can stop people from being open about their grief through fear of upsetting the others. Not talking about it doesn’t stop the child from being affected.

When you do talk it is important not to have any expectations. Talk in language that is easy for them to understand but try and stay clear of euphemisms. It is important to be honest, but sensitive. They will value the trust you are placing in them by being honest, which will keep the lines of communication open in future.  They might only listen to begin with, or only take in chunks of information and have to go over the same ground at a later date. The important thing is that they feel able to talk.

The dynamics of the family have also changed and it is not unheard of for a child to try and assume the role that the person who has died – for instance feel duty bound to take on the “adult” role – and it is important that the adults in the family allow them to act their age.

The first year is very significant for everyone.  Children develop at different rates at the best of times and so it is hard to pinpoint exactly how much they understand about what has happened. By early teens, however it is closer to the adult understanding.

At this age children are much more aware of the finality of death and the impact it has on them.  They can understand death as both concrete and abstract. They may experience difficulties in interaction with their peers, and the death can make them feel different at a time they want to be like everybody else. It is important to find ways to build their self esteem. Children of this age are starting to think of the longer term impact of the loss.  They start to think of the important events and milestones that the person will not be part of. At this age they are starting to move away from dependence on the family and this can destabilise them.  Emotional releases and mood swings are common and they will appreciate knowing that their feelings are normal.

Friends and peers are particularly important to them, as they begin to develop their own ideas as to who they are. They want to be accepted, their bodies are changing and they are more aware of their future. It is quite common for risk taking behaviour to increase in adolescents.  They might start to ponder the “meaning of life” or they may be so busy doing different activities they don’t stop to reflect. This can be a way of keeping their intense feelings under wraps if they are worried about emotional outbursts.  Teenagers may withdraw significantly but don’t push them, just remain there for them.

Of course, the school also provides a valuable resource. The routine is useful for all ages of child and they like the continuity and things that remain “normal”.We are always happy to help schools with extra support if they need it.

Anniversaries, birthdays and other special days can be particularly hard on the whole family. Some do not feel they can celebrate. It helps to try and plan these days. Prepare for it to be a challenge though. Put aside a special time of day to remember the person, to light a candle or to make something for the memory box or scrapbook. Some families choose to do this in the lead up to a big event rather than on the actual day. Children find this very hard as they naturally look forward to events like Christmas.

Activities that may help

  • Telling the story of what happened or how they are feeling by writing, drawing pictures, making a cartoon strip or writing poetry.  The key here is that they can express themselves, but the finished article can be put away, by them, when they are ready to do so.
  • Creating a memory box
  • Planting some seeds – maybe writing a special message  and placing it in the soil under the seeds as a permanent reminder.
  • Winston’s Wish website has a graffiti wall and a sky scape which can help
  • Creating a family tree

It is important to let them know that it is okay to experience the wide range of emotions – including being happy and enjoying life.

football themed funeral west midlands

Football funerals and coffins for footy fans

At Daniel Ross Funerals in Sutton Coldfield, we are honoured to be able to offer personalised football funerals so that families are able to give their loved one a truly befitting tribute and a funeral to remember.

Popular football funerals include football themed coffins decorated in Premier League club colours or bearing club crests, floral tributes, decorating the funeral vehicles and making a final journey to the football ground prior to the funeral.

Daniel Ross Funerals always ensure that any permission regarding copyright images are obtained from the individual football club. We have previously supplied coffins and themed football funerals for the fans of Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Liverpool FC.

At our funeral home in Walmley, Sutton Coldfield, we have more information and ideas to create the perfect send off and football funeral for your loved one.

Please contact us for further details

jazz band theme funeral

Jazz Band for a funeral service

A funeral should be as individual and unique as the person who has died and there are families who choose the funeral to be a celebration of the life that has been lived and wish to portray often an outgoing and colourful character or maybe, a real music lover with a jazz band for a funeral service.

Daniel Ross Funerals are proud to work alongside a traditional four piece jazz quartet (comprising of Trumpet, Trombone, Banjo and French Horn) who are able to play a medley of traditional jazz music such as “When the Saints go marching in…..”  and  “Down by the Riverside…..”  (to name but a couple) as the funeral cortege arrives and leaves the home address and on arrival at the Crematorium or Cemetery.

In addition, the quartet are only to happy to meet any specific or unusual requirements.

For further information and pricing on a jazz band for a funeral service, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Environmentally friendly funerals

Environmentally friendly funerals


Environmentally friendly funerals are otherwise known as “Green Funerals”.  We are the Only Green Funeral Directors in Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and Lichfield.

Some families are concerned that a funeral may not be environmentally friendly and may opt for an alternative.

To be classified as ‘green’ a funeral needs to have at least 3 of the following:

  1. Eco friendly coffin made with natural and biodegradable materials.
  2. Burial in a Natural Burial Ground or on the family’s own land.
  3. Limousines and cars kept to a minimum.
  4. No embalming.
  5. No ‘cremfilm’ or plastic lining in the coffin.
  6. Journey kept to a minimum.
  7. Flowers used all bought within 10 mile radius of FD.
  8. A tree plant or other plant(s) instead of headstone.
Of course we can help with any of these things, or if perhaps you just want to “do your bit” for the environment and, for example, choose from one of our many Eco-coffins including bamboo, sea-grass, willow, water hyacinth, banana leaf, wool and cotton, then we are glad to work with you.
We are members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors and the only funeral home in Sutton Coldfield (and one of only two in the West Midlands) to be recommended by the Natural Death Centre.
For more information on environmental issues and woodlands burials please contact us.  We also provide the option of green funerals within our funeral pre-payment plans.

“We are all extremely happy with the way dad’s funeral went. It was an utterly appropriate way to mark the end of his life. And its hard to imagine how it would have worked out without Sarah and Danny’s help. Your enthusiasm and flexibility in accommodating our plans was really appreciated. I personally was particularly glad of your support on the day, where I thought Danny did a superb job of keeping us organised in a completely unobtrusive manner.”