A CREMATORIUM near Romsey is gearing up to broadcast a COVID-safe Christmas service this year.

The Test Valley Crematorium, Ridge Lane, will be webcasting a one-hour Christmas carol and remembrance service on Tuesday, December 8.

Earlier this year, the crematorium, operated by Westerleigh Group, announced it had invested in new webcasting services, due to the restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend funeral services.

Now, that technology will be used to hold a virtual service, which will feature a mixture of traditional carols and readings, starting at 6.30pm.

Site manager at Test Valley Crematorium, Rob Metcalfe, said: “We wanted to make sure we could provide something this year that would definitely be able to take place, regardless of whatever lockdown restrictions may, or may not, be in place.

“We know it won’t be quite the same as our popular live services, which we very much hope to be able to return to hosting again next year.

“But Christmas is likely to be different for most people this year, and with so many other seasonal events being cancelled, such as live concerts and Christmas markets, we wanted to ensure we could still offer a way for people to join in a festive activity and to remember their loved ones at this time of year.

“In some ways, the fact that it is going to be so different this year may make these webcast services even more memorable.”

A link to the service will be put onto the Test Valley Crematorium website so that people can view it on December 8.

It will then be available on-demand.

There is no need to register in advance to view the services, and no tickets are needed.

Families can visit www.testvalleycrematorium.co.uk and click on the available link.