Undertakers’ windows: Heaven On Earth

Charles Cowling



Believe it or not, this beautiful undertaker’s window is full of the iconography of death. Heaven on Earth is in the city of Bristol and is run by Paula Rainey-Crofts and Simon Durgan. It is one of the pioneer ‘alternative’ undertakers. (There has to be a better term than ‘alternative’, what is it?)

Urbi et orbi = ‘to the city and to the world’. Nice touch, revealing, perhaps, a Catholic influence and an elegant sense of humour. These words customarily preface the Pope’s Easter and Christmas blessings to the massed faithful in St Peter’s Square.

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7 years ago

I agree there has to be an alternative to ‘alternative’, though it seems to me you can’t have just one alternative because the thing it’s an alternative to is its own alternative. ‘Alternative’ was some time ago purloined to mean ‘hippy’ – a long way from the desired effect – but it is here supposed to refer to something other than the norm, so perhaps ‘abnormal’ undertakers would be no worse – oh dear! I’m not a vegetarian just because you eat meat; if I have a fag that doesn’t make you a non-smoker; if I conduct a funeral in… Read more »

Andy Clarke
7 years ago


How about Nouveau or Renaissance Celebrants or Funeral Managers?

I think even the use of the word Undertaker is morbid and should be avoided.

Hopefully soon all funerals will be seen as a celebration of life.

Andy Clarke at Wealden Coffins