Arranging A Funeral

At Bewley & Merrett, we understand that making funeral arrangements can be a difficult task at an emotional time. We will support you through each step, answering your questions and ensuring all wishes are respected at every stage.

Step One: Call us

After the death occurs, whether at home, or in a hospital, hospice or nursing home, a medical certificate of cause of death will be issued by a doctor and we can bring the deceased into our care. (Only when a Coroner is involved is there a chance of delay).

We advise all families to contact us immediately after the death. From your first phonecall, our experienced, caring staff will be available 24 hours a day to guide and advise you on how to proceed.

You must register the death within five days of receiving the medical certificate, and we can help with this and all other legal requirements.

Step Two: Meet us

We can meet with you at either our quiet, comfortable premises or at your home to begin making arrangements. We will work closely with you to understand how best to pay tribute to the deceased, and what kind of funeral is desired by the family.

Early questions will include:

  • Whether it will be a burial or cremation
  • Whether it will be religious or non-religious (we arrange funerals for all religions and cultures)
  • Whether it will be traditional or alternative, or combine elements of both
  • Is eco friendliness a consideration?
  • When you would like the funeral to take place
  • Did the deceased leave instructions, a plan, or any specific wishes?

Remember that you can spend as much time as you wish to with your loved one before the funeral at our chapels of rest/visitation rooms.

Step Three: Allow us to handle the details

Arranging the funeral provides the opportunity to create a unique farewell to the deceased. We will spend time helping you plan every aspect with great care. We will provide full confirmation of all the chosen arrangements prior to the funeral, together with an itemised estimate of the costs.

Considerations may include:

  • Choosing a coffin: natural, traditional, picture or bespoke
  • Choosing a casket/urn
  • Dressing the deceased
  • Transport for the day of the funeral
  • Floral tributes
  • Where donations will go
  • Writing and organising the publication of a memorial notice
  • The choice of music or poetry for the service
  • Designing a photography montage for the service
  • Helping the family prepare a eulogy
  • Printing service stationery
  • Organising a video link/recording for people who cannot be at the funeral
  • Suggesting venues and catering for after the service
  • Choosing memorial masonry



Step Four: Remember, we’re still here if you need us

Families can be distracted from their grief, temporarily, by the need to make funeral arrangements, and sometimes feel rather flat when the day of the funeral has passed.

We can recommend help, support and resources designed especially for people who have suffered bereavement or an unexpected death. Reach out and stay connected, even when you think you would rather withdraw.

We can also help you to plan your own funeral. If, having made arrangements for a loved one, you would like to express your own wishes in advance and remove the financial burden from your family, we can make that happen.

Funeral Plans



Through our network of expert partners we are able to offer an extensive range of coffins from the environmentally friendly to the fun.

Our premier natural Willow coffins use materials grown and produced locally in Somerset. These offer an environmentally friendly solution, due to their low carbon footprint, while providing a high quality look and finish.

Our more affordable natural Seagrass coffins come in attractive colours and a closer weave, which limits see through, and are also a softer and quieter product.

Vehicles for the funeral

We operate a fleet of classic black funeral hearses and limousines as well as traditional horse-drawn hearses or other appropriate modes of transport, which may be arranged on request.

Our colourful picture coffins range, which is available in cardboard or print covered material, provides a fun and eco friendly alternative.

Horse drawn funerals

Horse drawn hearses make a real impact. We can provide a traditional hearse drawn by a pair of purebred Friesians (Belgium Blacks) or stunning white Percheron.

VW funerals

For something completely different why not hire an original white 1972 VW camper van hearse?

This original 1972 hearse has been sympathetically restored and can be decorated to reflect the personality and interests of your loved one.

Landrover 4×4 funerals

A Landrover 4×4 hearse offers a unique opportunity for your loved one to make their final journey in a vehicle that perhaps holds special memories for them or reflects their interests and passions. A variety of different models are available including a Land Rover Defender Hearse with an optional matching Land Rover Defender that will seat up to eight passengers.

Motorcycle funerals

We offer a wide range of motorcycle hearses from the classic style Triumph through to the iconic Harley Davidson to take your loved one on their final journey. Each vehicle has a pillion seat, a flower rail, Health and Safety hearse fittings, internal temperature control for warm weather and de-misting, and a combination of glass roof and internal lights to display both flowers and artefacts.

Vintage lorry funerals

For a dignified funeral with a difference we offer a vintage 1950 Leyland Beaver lorry. The 21ft deck provides ample space to create a unique arrangement for your loved one whether it’s made from floral tributes or artefacts close to their heart.

Vintage lorry funerals offer a dignified final journey for your loved one while bringing some colour to a dark day.

Natural burial site

For some a natural burial in beautiful surroundings is the best way to celebrate the life of the deceased. Midford natural burial meadow is a peaceful location where families can visit to reflect and replenish their spirits. A natural burial frees loved ones from the burden of tending a grave while safe in the knowledge that you are somewhere carefully chosen, where they know you would be happy.

Funeral catering

We are pleased to be able to arrange the provision of refreshments following the funeral service either in your own home or at a venue of your choice.

If you do not know any suitable venues then we can advise you on places that provide facilities for a reception following a funeral service.


We are happy to arrange any floral tributes you may require and providing a fitting tribute to your loved one.

  • Corsham

    57a Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9BS

    01249 713 134

  • Melksham

    26a Church Street, Melksham Wiltshire, SN12 6LS

    01225 708 736

  • Chippenham

    3b New Road, Chippenham Wiltshire, SN15 1EJ

    01249 660 554

Awards & Memberships

  • SAIF - Independent Funeral Directors
  • Golden Charter
  • 2024 Good Funeral Guide
  • Butterfly Conservation Corporate Member