Mourners might get to watch the funerals of family and friends from the comfort of their own home by having the service streamed live over the internet.
High-definition webcams might be fixed in Worcester’s crematorium so people who cannot get to funerals can watch the service as it happens or at another time by downloading a file. The service would cost £40.
Talks between the city council and Wesley Music, a Kettering-based company which currently provides support for the crematorium’s audio equipment, are currently taking place.
The idea has the backing of the church as Roger Morris, Archdeacon of Worcester, said: “If it proved to help those that are grieving who aren’t able to make the funeral in person then it should be a good thing if managed properly.”
Ian Yates, parks and cemetries manager at Worcester City Council, said: “We already have the audio equipment in place so in theory all we need to do is add the camera. This may give people the chance to see the service. I’m not sure it’s for all people but it’s an option.”
Alan Jeffrey, one of the directors at Wesley Music which has installed the service in other crematoriums nationwide, said: “This is not a substitute for attending the chapel. It is for those who otherwise would be excluded from the service because they can’t get there.”
Mr Jeffrey said web broadcast services had become popular in the last three years – particularly for soldiers fighting in war zones.
Mr Jeffrey said the main mourning party would be issued with the security details a couple of days before the service which they could pass on to those wishing to watch.
During the service, the cameras – one providing a general view and another focused on the speaker – are operated with buttons.
As well as being streamed live, the service can stay online for seven days. It is taken down once the main mourning party says so.
Mr Jeffrey said: “It’s all very secure and very private. We are very careful. If ever there was any abuse, we would put measures in place to deal with that.”
If Worcester City Council decides to install the system it could be up and running in the summer.