A PAISLEY woman has revealed how she had to hang around outside a church for an hour before being able to bury her dad.
Catherine Docherty, 44, of Gallowhill, had just attended a funeral Mass for her father, Phillip Docherty, along with family and friends.
But due to new rules governing funerals within Renfrewshire Council, the Docherty family cortege was unable to proceed to Hawkhead Cemetery.
And after reading the Paisley Daily Express’ exclusive story on ‘proposed’ new working practices surrounding funerals, Catherine said: “As far as I can see, they’ve already started!’
Catherine added: “Mass began at 9.30am but we didn’t actually bury dad until after 11.30am.
“In between, we were forced to stand around for an hour outside St Fergus’s Church.
“We were all distraught at losing dad and this just made things ten times worse.
“There were so many people coming up to us and asking what was going on, but we weren’t able to tell them.
“When we, ourselves, questioned the delay we were told that it was to prevent two funerals taking place at the same time, which still left us mystified.
“Had our Mass been held at 10am then it wouldn’t have been so bad but to keep us hanging around like that was totally out of order.
“But what can you do? You can’t just walk away – you have to grin and bear it.”
Phillip, who was from Ferguslie Park, would’ve been 66 last Friday, and Catherine, and her mum, Betty, marked the day by laying flowers at Hawkhead Cemetery, but their funeral fiasco has left a sour taste in the mouth.
Catherine said: “When we read in the Express that they were considering changing the way funerals are run, I thought, ‘they already have’.
“My mum, my brother, Philip, and I realise that cemetery workers were just doing their job but no one from Renfrewshire Council ever offered an apology or told us why it happened. That’s wrong.”
A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “Our over-riding goal is to provide a flexible service which meets the needs of mourners at an emotional time in their lives.
“We offer Mr Docherty’s family our condolences and assure them that we do everything in our power to make funerals run smoothly and with dignity.
“On July 4, there was another family funeral at 10.30am so it wasn’t possible to have Mr Docherty’s burial any earlier.
“We are working closely with funeral directors on ways to increase the number of burials that can be accommodated around 11am.
“A series of monthly joint meetings is planned to discuss this and other concerns and we are confident that these meetings will lead to positive developments for the service.”