Recommended Funeral Directors
De Gruchy Funeral Care
Address: Bagatelle Road, St Saviour, JE2 7TY
De Gruchy Funeral Care has been owned by the Channel Islands Co-operative Society since 2009 following the untimely death of its founder, Alex De Gruchy. The Co-op has retained the original name because it has an established identity on the island, and it makes its ownership clear in all dealings.
As a member-owned co-operative, the De Gruchy funeral home is pledged to uphold values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. It is a social enterprise model which, when true to its ideals, is particularly appropriate to the provision of funerals. The Channel Islands Co-op is wholly independent of UK-based The Co-operative Group and is therefore untouched by its recent difficulties.
There are three funeral directors at De Gruchy, all of them outstanding. In charge is Gary Tye who made what might be reckoned an unexpected career change from being a senior manager on the food side of the Co-op. He has thrown himself into his new vocation and, in the process, professionalised himself by acquiring the Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration. He brings an outsider’s eye to the business of funerals and, with it, a freshness of approach we very much like. He is not out to do things differently, but he brings an intelligent, inquiring and open mind to bear on the way things are done. He is particularly tuned to serving the very individual needs of all his clients and to working with you to arrange, not a package funeral, but a funeral that meets your needs and values.
Working with Gary are Jerry Crow and Nigel Coutanche. Like Gary, both have come to funerals from other careers, and we regard this as a real strength. They are warm, kind ‘people like us’ and very good listeners who work very hard and effectively to create good, unique funerals. Nigel is a trained funeral celebrant, a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals, and, if you want, will lead your funeral service if you choose not to have it led by a minister of religion.
You will make your funeral arrangements with either Gary, Nigel or Jerry, who will remain your point of reference throughout, see it all through with you and take charge of proceedings on the day of the funeral.
One person you may not meet, but who is a most important member of the team, is Tim Sangwine. Tim’s job is to care for those who have died and prepare them for their funeral. We always go out of our way to assure ourselves that people who have died are cared for with the highest respect and we can reassure you that Tim is very kind and dedicated and good at what he does. Everything behind the scenes is done according to the highest standards.
The funeral home is purpose built. It is light, airy and not in the least sombre. It is decorated to a very high standard -- it’s classy. If your budget is tight, however, do not worry: they are pledged to helping people of all budgets and they will look after you as well as anyone else.
Most people on Jersey favour a traditional funeral, and the De Gruchy's staff do this very smartly indeed. They have a fleet of new Mercedes, but they’re not black, they’re a very smart and gracious gunmetal grey. It’s a contemporary touch and, we think, a very effective one.
If you favour a less formal funeral, that’s no problem. They will happily fall in with your dress code and style. You come first: they are there to do what’s right for you.
If you do not wish to hold your funeral at a church or the crematorium, they have access to alternative venues, some of which are administered by Jersey Heritage. They also have their own small and very nicely appointed chapel on the premises which sits 30. It even has its own keyboard.
All the staff at De Gruchy's are dedicated to doing things not ‘the way they are done’ but the way that’s right for you. They will listen to you very carefully and they will be able to make suggestions which will enable you to achieve the funeral that’s right for you and for the person who has died. They are fully up to date with current trends in funerals and the latest products and services. Because the funeral home is affiliated to the wider co-operative movement, it has access to high-quality advice, skills and training.
A co-operative business sets the bar extremely high in terms of the standards and values you are entitled to expect -- whether you are a member of the Co-op or not. We find that the staff of De Gruchy’s meet these standards. If money is a problem, please declare this at the outset so that they can help you. They have good links to social services and will help you access the grants and budgeting loan for which you may qualify. They offer a simple funeral at an affordable price and they can offer you a loan at 0% interest over one year.
Your first call will be answered, during office hours, by either Gary or Nigel or Jerry or Tim. Out of hours it will be answered by Gary or Nigel.
- Home Visits – Very happy to make arrangements with you either at the funeral home or at your own home.
- Embalming – They do not routinely embalm unless they think it necessary, in which case they will discuss it with you sensitively beforehand and ask your permission.
- Family Participation – If you want to carry the coffin, they’ll show you how -- they’ll ask you to come in and rehearse. If you’d like to come in and wash and dress the person who has died, Tim be there for you. If you’d just like to come in do their hair, that’s absolutely no problem. They believe in empowering you to do what you want and they help you in any way they can.
- Same sex person to wash and dress? – Not possible here, but standards of care and privacy are of the highest.
- Ethnic Specialism – The staff are all trained and experienced in arranging funerals for people of different faiths and funeral traditions.
- Local Celebrants – Good local celebrants to choose from if you do not want a religious minister, including Nigel.
- Home arranged funerals - If you would like the person who has died to stay at home until the day of the funeral, they will willingly work with you to achieve this. See the Do It All Yourself page on our website.
- Website – Good basic information.
- Client Support – After the funeral, call in anytime for a cuppa – they’ll always be pleased to see you. If you need a bit of extra support, they’ll put you in touch with people who can help.
- Money matters – Very fairly priced for what we reckon to be a high-value service. Good bespoke funeral plans on offer which do not tie you to De Gruchy's and which guarantee third-party costs -- a big bonus. If you're a shareholder in the Channel Islands Cooperative, a 4% dividend is paid on all services and products provided by De Gruchy’s for both funerals and also pre-paid plans.
- Parking – opposite the funeral home by the parade of shops.
A highly professional service offered by outstandingly kind people who will do their very best to help you create the send-off that’s right for you and for the person who has died.