A Chislehurst cemetery has become the first in the country to offer a live, wireless recording of funeral services direct from the graveside.

Grieving families can request a video feed, recorded by a cameraman and streamed over the high-speed 4G network used by new smartphones, at Kemnal Park Cemetery and Memorial Gardens.

The package is aimed at friends and family who live abroad and are unable to travel to services, or those who are infirm and unable to leave home.

Users can watch and listen to the broadcast by logging on to a password-protected website on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet.

Some cemeteries and crematoria already offer live streaming from within the chapel using fixed cameras and a wired broadband connection.

But bosses at Kemnal Park say this is the first time families have been able to request a wireless recording with a roaming camera.

Kemnal Park operations director Michael Burke said: "Our new 4G service is as close as you can get a funeral service without actually being there.

"We are taking advantage of the latest technology to beam high quality video and audio around the world in real-time.

"It is ideal for friends and family who are unable to travel to Kemnal Park but still wish to pay their respects."

Funeral director Michael Killick, from J and R Killick, in West Wickham, described the service as an "excellent extra".

Mr Killick, who conducted the first streamed service, said: "There are times when it can be impractical for some family members to attend a funeral at short notice.

"That may be because of distance or their own health.

"But just about everywhere now has access to the internet, so we see this 'virtual service' as an excellent extra option to be able to offer a family."

He added: "I found it very moving that the grandson and his wife who reside in New Zealand were able to watch this service at 3am their time and still be part of the service at Kemnal Park."

A £450 charge includes a professional cameraman, equipment, and wireless 4G data charges.

Families can also request a hardcopy recording of proceedings for watching later.

It is available for burials and cremation services.

Kemnal Park covers an area of 55 acres, has 30,000 grave spaces, and a chapel that houses up to 500 mourners. It is expected to host around 800 services this year.