The Good Funeral Guide Blog

A promise made is a debt unpaid

Monday, 9 June 2014

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The devaluation of the Social Fund Funeral Payment is the main cause of funeral poverty, but there are others. Some families sign up to more than they can afford – and funeral directors let them. The impact on both parties can be devastating. While the great and the good convene conferences to debate solutions, a practical lesson may come from, of all unlikely sources, the debt collection sector.

Templegate Recoveries is a debt collection agency that has been recommended to us by a funeral director whom we know and admire and like. So we asked Joanna Rogers, who founded the business with her sister Alex, to write about what they do to help funeral directors and families to avoid the misery of unpaid bills. Jo is on standby to respond to your comments. 

After 25 years in the Debt Recovery business my sister and I decided to start Templegate Recoveries Ltd. We wanted to service the small to medium size businesses in a more personal and ethical way than what was on offer from the large debt collection agencies. Our main priorities are ensuring that the good name of our clients is protected and the feelings of their customers are treated with respect and consideration at all times.

Because this ethos has attracted many funeral directors who want a more personal and sympathetic service we have, over the years, become experts in the collection of funeral debt

We have made it our business to keep up to date with all relevant legislation within the industry and now find ourselves not only recovering our client’s debt, but also assisting the debtors themselves. We make sure they know all the payment options open to them, where any assistance is available and provide forms where necessary, so our clients receive their money back at the earliest opportunity and the families who have lost their loved ones have peace of mind.

We regularly encounter genuinely cash-strapped individuals trying to bury their loved ones alongside the frivolous money’s-no-object (until the bill comes in) family member who believes the bigger the funeral the more loved the deceased. Unfortunately there’s a real lack of knowledge when it comes to funerals and many people still believe the government will provide financial assistance – that is, until they find themselves responsible for a large bill after the funeral.

We have come across many situations where a family have got the unemployed, benefit-claiming sibling to sign for the funeral in the hope the DWP will pay. However, if there are working family members the DWP won’t pay, leaving a big bill with someone unable to pay it and more often than not the funeral director considerably out of pocket.

In this situation honesty is always the best way forward, both on the part of the funeral director and the family arranging the funeral. Funeral directors have historically found it difficult to discuss cost with a distressed family that have just lost their loved one, and families find it difficult in such an upsetting time to be realistic about what they can actually afford. However there is help on both sides.

Here at Templegate we have spent considerable time with our Funeral Directors  tightening up their in-house procedures, helping them spot families that are likely to have problems paying, providing extra information forms for them to use and modernising their terms & conditions to include a debt recovery clause. This offers protection for both parties. It is the responsibility of the Funeral Director to help steer the family towards a funeral that will be financially viable for them, and for the family to recognise that at the end of the day the Funeral Director is a business that needs paying for their services.

There clearly needs to be more transparency about the help available for individuals on benefits who have no ability to pay for a funeral at all. For example there is the SF500 form which is a crisis loan from the government  that historically helps with housing repairs, clothing allowances etc but will now help considerably with funeral costs. Further, if there are no other family members in employment the DWP will also pay up to around £1,400 towards the funeral.  If you are a family, however, which does not qualify for any of the above there is absolutely no shame in having a public health funeral that is far more manageable financially.

Funeral  Directors suffer hugely due to the fact that they are the only industry that offers the amount of credit that they do with very few questions asked. Quite often they are family run businesses that arrange all their funerals on blind trust that at the end of the day they will be paid, but sadly this is often not the case. Businesses that have been in families for many years are getting into a considerable amount of financial difficulty due to unpaid funeral bills and disbursements that have to be paid up front. We believe this needs to change to reflect the tougher times we now find ourselves in.

If you are reading this article and you have sadly lost a loved one and are looking to arrange a funeral, remember the following. The person signing the arrangement form is the person legally responsible for paying the account, therefore if you are paying as a family then all family members should sign. Secondly, Funeral Directors do not hold a credit licence, therefore you will need to pay the account in its entirety after the funeral has taken place. Try to remember the type of funeral you can afford is not a measure of how much you love the deceased and if you are honest with the funeral director they will provide you with a very dignified service that is still within your budget. There is nothing worse than grieving for a loved one and worrying about how you are going to pay their funeral bill on top.

Further, if you are a Funeral Director reading this article please be mindful of the fact that times are changing and that you are in fact a business. It is just as important to offer a family a suitable service within their budget as it is to get all the details right on the day. There is not a company anywhere that would offer you a considerable amount of credit with no questions asked and the same applies to Funerals. If you feel you need any further assistance with either outstanding accounts or wish to make use of our consultancy service please go to www.templegaterecoveries.co.uk for more information or alternatively call us on 01932 269412.

Finally, If you are an individual worried about how you are going to pay for the funeral of your loved one, please do not hesitate to call and ask for Jo, Alex or Irene and we will be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Should old acquaintance be forgot

Thursday, 5 June 2014

 

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There was a time, way back when the world was new and green (remember green?) and a joyous revolution in funerals was imminent. It was a time when scarcely a day passed without the launch of a new online memorial website. The concept ticked all the boxes, floated all the boats, captured the zeitgeist: innovation + web technology + new trends in commemoration (remember the great Baby Boomer Fallacy?) Some were in it for love, others for money. The GFG team celebrated every new arrival.

In the right hands the online memorial website is an excellent concept capable of offering much solace to the bereaved. But only great techies with their hearts in the right place can ever get the concept to work. There have been some egregious turkeys.

Our own favourite, the Titanic of the genre, was the late lamented EternalSpace, pictured above, which launched in 2009 awash with venture capital and sunk days later. It offered grievers highly monetisable “peaceful, serene online environments” where you could choose “your own tranquil landscape that could be “customized to reflect and honor an individual’s life and legacy”. You could buy “virtual tribute gifts, selecting from a diverse range of items including flowers, trees, candles, hobby and sports memorabilia, and other unique gifts that reflect the personality, interests and life of each individual.” It was truly madly deeply bonkers.

Over the years, new sites have sprung up overnight to a blare of PR-inspired publicity, then withered and perished along with all their memories becoming, in their extinction, the antithesis of everything they had aspired to be.

Startups have declined to a trickle in the last 3 years. The very few stayers have improved their functionality, refined their service and worked on their sustainability. In addition to giving bereaved people a place to go, day or night, where they can reflect on the person who has died and share memories, online memorial sites now, also, facilitate online fundraising; and they have partnered with funeral directors, offering them an own-branded memorial site, bringing a welcome element of localism to what can seem a remote and cloud-borne entity. This has enabled them to bring more people into awareness of their presence at the same time as enabling funeral directors to enhance their service by offering their clients a useful grief resource. All good. Market stable.

Then the other day we noticed that Tamworth Co-op and Midlands Co-op had signed up with HeavenAddress. Never heard of it? Nor had we. So we checked it out. Loads of funeral homes in the South Pacific; no others in the UK except for AB Walker in Reading. What’s so special? Nothing we could see. Baffled. If we missed something, tell us.

Check out the Tamworth Co-op page here.

And then do what we do, and compare it with MuchLoved’s branded site for, say, Arthur C Towner here.

Little point in checking out Midlands Co-op because, doh, HeavenAddress links it to a memorial website called RememberedForever (nope, we hadn’t either) not to be confused with RememberedForever (you’d be forgiven). The latter is a dot org, but we can’t find it at Companies House or the Charity Commission. Its ownership is a mystery. We’d love to post a screenshot of its home page so you could enjoy the misspelling of ‘remembrances’ at the top right, but its Ts and Cs threaten dire consequences: “any re-publication of the Websites or content on the Websites is strictly prohibited, and You agree that the consequences of commercial use or re-publication may be so serious and incalculable that monetary compensation may not be a sufficient or appropriate remedy.” Incalculable? Heck, what would be appropriate? Baseball bats? We offer them the words of Psalm 112:  Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered foreverThey will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LordTheir hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.

Anyway, you can see the misspelling here

Apologies for the digression. As we say, in the right hands the online memorial website is a great concept. We at the GFG have long been fans of MuchLoved because we think their heart’s in the right place and they’re impressively bright — they’re ethical and they’re savvy. They’re also a proper charity. If someone better came along, of course we’d switch allegiance just like that.

For now, however, it seems to us, they remain way, way out in front.

All blood runs red

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

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“By all means have memorials. Make them out of Government stone if you like. Make them uniform. But you have no right to employ, in making these memorials, the bodies of other people’s relatives. It is not decent, it is not reasonable, it is not right.”

“When the widows and mothers of our dead go out to France to visit the graves they will expect to find that equal honour has been paid to all who have made the same sacrifice and this result cannot be attained if differences … are allowed in the character and design of the memorials.”

The words in the first quote were spoken by Viscount Woolmer in a parliamentary debate in 1920. He spoke for many  — but by no means all — parents of dead soldiers who either wanted their sons home, buried in the village churchyard, or commemorated more fittingly, in accordance with their beliefs and values, where they lay. By what right did the British Army commandeer their bodies and prescribe their memorials?

The words in the second quote were issued by the Trades Union Congress and reflect the growing democratic values of the time.

Today, most people, probably, regard the cemeteries for the dead of World War 1 as oases of peace and serenity, the antithesis of the horror and brutality that spawned them — beauty born of ugliness, a marvellous creation. Far from being impersonal in their uniformity and scale, you may feel, they are poignantly respectful of each and every person they commemorate.

But you can see what brought Woolmer to his feet.  And he had a case. The dead, in law, belong to their families, not the state.

The story of what we now know as the Commonwealth War Graves  is told in the book Empires of the Dead by David Crane – a good read.  The British Empire war cemeteries were the achievement of one man, Fabian Ware, pictured below, whose name, today, is almost entirely forgotten. For a man who dedicated his life to ensuring that the dead would be forever remembered, that’s quite an irony.

 

Fabian Ware

 

Ware was an imperialist. Today, his political philosophy looks as authoritarian as it does democratic. The life of man, he believed, is a constant struggle between the pursuit of individualism and submission to the needs of the collective. But when push comes to shove “the individual is submerged in the family … the family in the nation … and so the nation … in the highest attainment of human collectivity the world has yet seen … the empire … So long as patriotism … is the controlling force … no sacrifice will be thought too great in the cause of unity.”

Freedom of the individual must be subordinated to the need for national unity.

For all his democratic values and dedication to the collective, Ware was never a committee man. This explains how he was able to get so much done. The Imperial War Graves Commission — now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) — was his creation and his fiefdom. His achievement was the product of a combination of tireless high-handedness and nimble diplomacy. Today, standing as his legacy, there are 23,000 CWGC cemeteries in 153 countries commemorating 1,700,000 men and women.

Repatriation of British soldiers was banned in 1915 because it was reckoned discriminatory – only the wealthy could afford to have their sons brought back. At the end of the war the French and Americans brought numbers of their dead home, but ne’er a Brit. Repatriation had never been the practice of the British, and indeed only became official policy in 2003.

British Army soldiers were buried as close as possible to where they fell, side by side, regardless of rank, generals next to privates, beneath identical headstones modelled not on Christian but on classical lines because, explained the guiding architect, Edwin Lutyens, “besides Christians of all denominations there will be Jews, Musselmens, Hindus and men of other creeds, their glorious names and their mortal bodies all equally deserving enduring record and seemly sepulture.”

 

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Most people picture masses of crosses when asked to recall a 1st WW war cemetery. That would be the French and the Americans. There is, though, one cross in every Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery with more than 40 graves. Fabian Ware opposed this because he wanted the cemeteries to be inclusive of all faiths and none, but he was overruled on the grounds that the British Empire was a Christian empire. Hence the Cross of Sacrifice (below) often found together with Lutyens’ faith-neutral symbol, the Stone of Remembrance (above).

 

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At the beginning of the war, no one had any inkling  of the scale of sacrifice of human life that was about to ensue. So gigantic did the task of interring the dead become, together with marking their graves and registering them, that the French briefly considered cremating their dead on a chain of funeral pyres. The British Army went into the war with no preparations for the decent burial of its dead. What resulted  owes everything to the vision and the hard work of one whose name also deserves to live for evermore: the forgotten Fabian Ware.

British Empire dead:
Buried in named graves : 587,989
Buried but not identifiable by name : 187,861
No known graves: 526,816,
Not buried at all : 338,955 (includes Royal Navy lost at sea)

In the words of an Armistice Day broadcast: “Imagine them moving in one long continuous column, four abreast. As the head of that column reaches the Cenotaph, the last four men would be at Durham.”

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Calling all you snappers

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

 

 

The Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) invites you to commemorate the centenary year of the First World War with a national photography competition

Launch date is on the 30th May with entries closing on 31st July, with the winner to be announced on 1st September.

Now in its fifth year, this critically acclaimed competition calls on novices and professional photographers alike, to capture the beauty of stone memorials from the past and the present.

This year’s theme commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War and invites photographers to feature memorials which best represent their understanding of the First World War. With the chance to win a £1,000 entrants must send in one photograph accompanied by 50 words, which explain the reasoning behind their choice of image.

Originally founded in 1984, the Memorial Awareness Board is a leading industry body which campaigns for the continuance and importance of memorialization. Campaigns are focused on the upkeep and protection of UK cemeteries and also support UK stonemasons, by providing a hub of information for the general public, academics, local government and the media on the benefits and beauty of stone memorials.

For more information on the Memorial Awareness Board (MAB) and how to enter the competition along with Terms and Conditions please visit:

www.rememberforever.org.uk

You can also become a fan on Facebook: facebook.com/MemorialAwarenessBoard

 

 

A Concerned Priest in South London

Monday, 2 June 2014

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On a hot June Sunday morning, David Hall, of Vintage Lorry Funerals, set out at 0600 hours in his 1950 Leyland Beaver for a Monday morning funeral in Walworth, South London.

When David was a lad in the 1960’s, Sunday was a sacred day and there would be very little traffic on the road during the morning. His Dad used to say that the only people out and about on a Sunday morning were Fishermen and Catholics. Leaving Bradford-on-Avon the traffic was initially light, however, as the vintage lorry trundled along the A342 at Devizes a number of vehicles overtook. A car pulling a very long trailer eased past and the two men inside were going gliding from Thruxton perhaps. A Mini Bus, full of young ladies, all with their head-phones on, overtook and these women were probably off to play an away game in the Wiltshire Football League. Coming the other way was a van pulling a Stock Car on a trailer, two men obviously heading for a smashing time. In the 1960’s Sunday was a day of rest, now it’s a day of activity.

The most dangerous time to drive on a Sunday morning is between 1015 and 1045 hours when cars with a chrome fish on their boot lids fly past, ignoring the double white line that should not be crossed. These are Church goers, taking ridiculous risks to get to church on time. David believes that on some occasions it is not the Church Service in 15 minutes that should be their prime concern, but a likely one in 8 or 9 days time.

The Leyland Beaver arrived in Dulwich at 1500 hours and one of the Funeral Directors staff came in to open the gates of their yard. As David reversed in, one of the occupants in the flats above the shops descended the staircase into the yard and admired the pristine vehicle. The man told David that his lorry would be safe in the yard overnight. The man wasn’t wrong as the yard was secure, too secure, nobody could get into the yard, but in the morning the Leyland Beaver couldn’t get out. Some clown had abandoned a battered old car on the double yellow lines right on the corner which prevented the lorry turning out of the yard. There was no time to call the Police and have the car removed, this was a funeral and only one cause of action was possible. The vintage lorry inched around the corner touching the car, causing little damage to the car beyond that already present and even less to the wing of the 64 year old vehicle, but the scratch on the red paint was there for all to see.

As the flowers were being loaded at the house, David created a display with a high level of flexibility, to enable rapid loading in this busy London street. Rather than fixing the Floral Tributes to boards which would have made them appear to be floating in mid air, the Floral Tributes were secured within Flower Trays. These were inclined so the tributes could be seen and as the sun shone on the wire base of the Flower Trays, the Floral Tributes appeared to look like chocolates in the top layer of the box. David remarked to the Deceased’s Son, that life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what flavour is next out of the box, recalling the situation he encountered in which his pride and joy was damaged earlier that day.

It was extremely hot by noon and David, wearing his black boiler-suit and beret, was perspiring profusely as he offloaded the Floral Tributes in the Cemetery. The Catholic Priest walked 100 yards to speak to David saying in a thick Irish brogue, ‘Promise me two things. Promise me that you will drink some water before you leave. Promise me that you will stop half-way and drink some more water.’ David was embarrassed that someone was concerned for his well being and he tried to diffuse the situation with some humour. David asked the Priest, ‘Father, can I have some of your Holy Water?’ The Priest replied with a smile, ‘The water you need is from the tap near the Cemetery Gates.’

http://www.vintagelorryfunerals.co.uk/

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That was then

Friday, 30 May 2014

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“When the place was packed full the undertaker he slid around in his black gloves with his softy soothering ways, putting on the last touches, and getting people and things all ship-shape and comfortable, and making no more sound than a cat. He never spoke; he moved people around, he squeezed in late ones, he opened up passageways, and done it with nods, and signs with his hands. Then he took his place over against the wall. He was the softest, glidingest, stealthiest man I ever see; and there warn’t no more smile to him than there is to a ham.”

Mark Twain

Death on the island

Thursday, 29 May 2014

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Browner’s memorial, Isle of Portland

 

The dead of the First World War were tucked up in cemeteries designed and regulated by Those Who Know Best. Edwin Lutyens was one of the architects. Rudyard Kipling was in charge of what was inscribed. The result is, most people agree, fitting and splendid. It was achieved by denying the families of those who had died any form of personalisation save for a few words on the headstone – which had to be approved first.

Good taste can be very inhibiting, so it was refreshing to spend a few days on the Isle of Portland last week and witness an altogether more unaffected approach to the commemoration of the dead — People’s Memorials.

Portlanders like a bit of poetry. We like poetry that rhymes and can be easily understood. I enjoyed this from our latest freesheet by Linda Battely. On the first anniversary of his death, 29 May, it commemorates Darren Clare, a young man famous for his kindness:

Darren was a happy lad
If he could help you, he would only be too glad,
Gardening, shopping, cleaning, anything you name it,
Even if some days he didn’t feel that fit,
Darren would help you if he could…

 On Bank Holiday Monday, 26 May, there was a cricket match to celebrate the life of legendary cricketer Melvyn Tremlin, who died in October 2013 aged 61. He could have played for Dorset if he’d wanted. There was an open-air rock band, plenty of picnicking and a cricket match: “We promise that the cricket will not be too demanding, and there will be a lengthy tea break for those who need it.” Very jolly it looked.

We have memorials to the dead all over the island. Lots of benches, of course, for the dead like to gaze and Portland offers them many vistas –

 

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We’re littered with boulders, and some are adopted unofficially as memorials –

 

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The boulder at the top of the page is dedicated to Keith ‘Browner’ Brown, a ‘loveable rogue’ who may have jumped to his death here. It’s always dressed on his birthday in April –

 

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Portland is the final resting place of foreigners who died in its waters –

 

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Here’s our Royal Naval cemetery in which 12 German airmen lie alongside British sailors –

 

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Here’s one of our pirates’ graves. They weren’t actually pirates, but islanders mistake the memento mori for brigands’ insignia –

 

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I like our posh memorials. I like our People’s Memorials even more.

Getting it right

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

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A client review, just in, of GFG-recommended funeral director Andrew Smith:

I lost my husband on 30th April, he died peacefully at home, following a three year battle with cancer. Never having had to organise a funeral before I didn’t have a clue where to start.  A friend recommended Andrew Smith and all my concerns were taken away.

When I was ready for my husband to be taken from the house I rang Janet and she told me who would be coming and when they arrived about 20 mins later they were impeccably dressed and very sympathetic – treating my husband with great dignity.  After they had taken my husband I went back upstairs  to see that they had not only opened the window, but also made the bed.  I was deeply touched by this and it saved me the trauma of seeing the empty bed with indentations  where my husband had been lying – I am so grateful for that.

From then on Andrew Smith were invaluable.  I needn’t had worried about a thing because they did everything and they did it with compassion and with dignity.

My 24 year old daughter decided that she wanted to visit her dad and to put some photos in his coffin.  When she arrived,  rather than just letting her go straight in, she was shown a photo of the room so she knew what to expect.  She later told me that this helped her greatly.

The funeral itself was flawless and everything was explained to us prior to leaving the house.  How Andrew Smith remembered all our names, I will never know – but it means such a lot to me to know that they really do care about their clients.

Their contact did not end at the funeral.  I received a phone call the following day to see how myself and the children were.  A few days later I received some bookmarks with a picture of my husband on them and a poem on the back along with some wildflower seeds to plant in memory of my husband.  This is not a company that takes your money and then forgets about you.

Thank you Andrew Smith for looking after my husband so well and for treating him with great dignity and for looking after me and my family too.  If only all organisations could be as professional, it would be a much easier world in which to live.

Death by chocolate #bovo2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

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From the Birmingham Post 25 May 2014:

They’re the Oscars you definitely would be seen dead at – and there’s guaranteed to be stiff opposition for a gong.

The inaugural Ideal Death Show, a top of the plots for the funeral industry, promises to be a celebration in Birmingham of everything that’s good about slipping this mortal coil.

Funeral directors across the nation are bidding for a rest-in-piece of the action.

Highlight of the three-day event will be the Good Funeral Awards, a prize-giving ceremony for undertakers who undertake to solemnly walk the extra mile.

Categories at the glittering Bournville gathering include embalmer of the year, The Eternal Slumber Award for top coffin supplier, crematoriuim attendant of the year and best gravedigger.

Winners will receive not Oscars but similarly sized gold statuettes of the Ancient Egyptian god of embalming, Anubis.

Refreshments at the Beeches Hotel pall of fame, staged from September 5 to 7, will be served in Death Cafés where, presumably, chicken in the casket may well be on the menu.

Lectures from luminaries such as Times columnist Ann Treneman and Oldie magazine’s Virginia Ironside will cover subjects like ‘What It Feels Like To Die’.

Pretty final, presumably.

Charles Cowling, author of coffee table book The Good Funeral Guide, stressed that there is nothing mawkish or even macabre about the celebration of everything associated with meeting your maker.

“They’re not weird, these great funeral people,” he said. “They’re wonderful.”

In fact, they’ve been known to really let RIP.

“Above all,” said Charles, “they’re amazingly normal, just like us – kind, decent, friends in need. The world needs to know this.

“They richly deserve to have their praises sung and their stories told. This event is where we get to do that.”

The show will also feature an exhibition of “unconventional funeral merchandise” – ideal for those wanting a fridge magnet for that urn on the mantlepiece.

“The British tend to be a bit coy about their own mortality, but we’re here to provide a space for the curious,” said an event spokesman.

“Many feel uncomfortable about the idea, but our weekends have more laughs than tears.

“There will also be death cafés, opportunities to discuss the Grim Reaper over tea and cake.”

Bournville – home of Cadbury chocolate – was chosen because of its Quaker links.

“They had a reputation for progressive management and embracing ideas ahead of their time,” said the show aide. “We particularly like the way they put emphasis on making this world better rather than pondering what happens after leaving it.

“We respect the Quaker commitments to social justice, environmental consciousness and community.”

All eyes will be on the industry’s ‘Oscars’.

Anubis

This year’s Good Funeral Awards Oscar

Owl you need is love

Friday, 23 May 2014

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The natural death movement in the UK of the early 90s was very much a child of its time. Its parents were the natural childbirth movement and the environmental movement. The happy coupling resulted in the birth of twins: the DIY funeral and natural burial.

The natural burial movement grew strappingly, but the DIY funeral didn’t. Not in the UK, anyway. But it has begun to thrive in the US, where DIY funerals are more fittingly called home funerals.

The buzzwords at the heart of the home funeral movement are empowerment and reclamation. Like all progressive movements in funerals it draws its inspiration from a golden age, specifically that time when people cared for their dead at home assisted by members of the community. It resists the commodification of funerals and the sidelining of those closest to the dying and the dead by specialist professionals:

“Reliance on a funerary industry to care for our dead and the removal of death and dying from our homes and communities are startlingly recent developments … Our modern approach to death has … left us blind to the extent to which we’ve forfeited our most personal, vulnerable and significant life moments to medical, funerary, legislative and commercial pressures.” [Source]

It may be worth reflecting, at this point, on the popularity of home births in England and Wales. In 1961 32.4% of women gave birth at home. In 2011, that was down to 2.4%.

The GFG has scrutinised the US home funeral movement from time to time, with the result that ours is the only UK website listed as a resource by the National Home Funerals Alliance. It only goes to show how incredibly little is going on over here. We’ve always been puzzled by that.

At last, though, we can announce the birth of a UK enterprise dedicated to helping people care for their dead at home. It has been created by Claire Turnham, who cared for her own father at home. In 2013 she attended the nhfa annual conference in North Carolina. In the autumn she will be hosting Jerrigrace Lyons, one of the great pioneers of the home funeral movement, who will hold workshops for those who wish to care for their dead at home.

Claire’s enterprise is called Only With Love, and you can find it here. OWL is a welcome addition to the UK’s diverse and highly creative funeral culture. We wish you well, Claire!

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