Good Funeral Awards 2014 – the WINNERS

Charles Cowling


Funeral Director of the Year

Sarah Clarke of Arka Original Funerals

Most Promising New Funeral Director of the Year  – sponsored by the Church of England

Sarah Stuart and Lel Wallace of Wallace Stewart

Green Funeral Director of the Year sponsored by GreenAcres

Tracy O’Leary, Woodland Wishes

Association of Green Funeral Directors Green Funeral Director of the Year

Gordon and Alison Tulley, Respect Woodland Green Burial Parks

Funeral Arranger of the Year

Angela Bailey of Harrison Funeral Home

Celebrant of the Year

Dee Ryding

Embalmer of the Year

Bob Dyer of A Dyer & Sons and Midland Embalming Service

Gravedigger of the Year

Jonny Laxley

Crematorium Attendant or Manager of the Year

Peter Rodwel, Seven Hills

Eternal Slumber Coffin Supplier of the Year

Roger Fowle

Best Alternative Hearse

Claire Brooks, Volkswagen Funerals

Cemetery of the Year

Clandon Wood

Blossom d’Amour Award for Funeral Floristry

Cassandra Thompson of Stems, New Covent Garden

Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death

Jon Underwood, Death Café

Best Internet Bereavement Resource


Lifetime Achievement Award

Chris Parker


23 thoughts on “Good Funeral Awards 2014 – the WINNERS

  1. Charles Cowling

    From your distant friend in Seattle – congratulations to all! Would have loved to be there amongst you glittery deatheraties.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Denise Walker

    Thank you to everyone for an amazing weekend. My eyes are still out on stalks from all the amazing stalls and ideas that the show generated.

    I really enjoyed myself.

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    Sarah Clarke

    Dear Charles and everyone at the GFG – Thank you so much for my award of Best Funeral Director! I was so thrilled to have won this. The time we spent at Bournville was a real shot in the arm, lovely people and wonderful conversation. Now back to work! Best wishes to everyone there and especially our customers who voted for me and Arka Original Funerals. Sarah xxx

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    Kristie West

    Congratulations everyone!

    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      Charles Cowling

      How we missed thee, Kristie!

      Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Woodland Wishes

    What a wonderful weekend, with wonderful people. I still cant believe Woodland Wishes won our category ! Well done to all the good funeral professionals including those who didn’t get nominated as I am sure there are lots in the UK.
    Do we really have to wait til next year to meet up again, wouldn’t it be nice to see everyone together sooner….. Tracy x

    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    roger fowle

    A Great event,big thanks to all involved in putting in on .

    Very nice to meet you all, and well done to all the nominees.

    A big up to all my customers.many thanks,

    Charles Cowling
  7. Charles Cowling
    Wendy Coulton

    For my first year at these awards and the weekend event it was an absolute pleasure and honour to meet so many friendly, talented and innovative people in funeral services. Thank you for a memorable experience. Sorry if I have missed it but who won the cake competition?

    Charles Cowling
  8. Charles Cowling
    Clandon Wood

    Thanks so much for the award of Best Cemetery of the Year for Clandon Wood. The whole team is delighted and it is the icing on the cake for what has been an extraordinary year, finalists in the Toast of Surrey Business Awards, voted Best Natural Burial ground in the UK, a Green Flag award and now this. Amazing! Thank you so much to you Charles and all at the Good Funeral Awards for your hard work and efforts in putting on this event. Also a very well done to all the other finalists.

    Charles Cowling
  9. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    Dear Kitty

    Those splendid Viking ash-ships are made by the lovely Cath Pratley at Sturminster Newton in Dorset. Aren’t they marvellous? If there’d been a best-in-show competition, I think they would have won hands down (whatever that means). If you attended a talk or death cafe in one of the yurts, Cath makes them as well. You can see her website here –

    You can certainly buy one now in advance of your husband ‘falling asleep’. Be sure to store it in a dry place indoors. Perhaps you could use it as a fruit basket? If it gets damp it may start to sprout and you wouldn’t want to have to uproot it in order that your husband’s cremated remains might repose therein before being fired and sunk.

    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling

      Great! Thank you Charles. His birthday’s in less than a fortnight so I’d better get a move on.

      Charles Cowling
      1. Charles Cowling
        Charles Cowling

        What a delightful memento mori, Kitty! I think he will be delighted. To make it even more ‘real’ for him you could fill it with cat litter — as much as would fill an old-fashioned sweet jar.

        I hope he will pronounce it his best birthday present ever.

        Charles Cowling
        1. Charles Cowling

          Let’s just hope kitty doesn’t get to it before he sees it…or he may take it the wrong way.

          Charles Cowling
  10. Charles Cowling

    What a fabulous weekend! As well as the socialising, the awards dinner and the wonderful speakers, I really enjoyed the exhibition. Mr C – could we please have more information on those gorgeous Viking ships? I’d like my husband to have one. In the fullness of time. Of course.

    Charles Cowling
  11. Charles Cowling

    Congratulations to everyone – the whole weekend was amazing – informative, exciting and buzzing with great people, new ideas and time catching up with old friends. Many thanks Charles and Brian for sparking such a marvellous event.

    Charles Cowling
  12. Charles Cowling
    Jon Underwood

    Thanks so much for my award (Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death) which is a source of massive happiness and pride to me. I think it is great to have an award of this type and especially cool to have won when the other nominees (Barbara Chalmers from Final Fling and Chantal Lockey) are so amazing.

    Charles Cowling
  13. Charles Cowling
    Barbara Chalmers

    An amazing weekend. Well done all.

    This conference and awards ceremony is a highlight of my year. Great group of folks all so willing to share. Truly like a big huggable family.

    We’ll be reflecting on it in our September newsletter. (Due out today/tomorrow if the train wifi doesn’t fail me…)

    Charles Cowling
  14. Charles Cowling
    Ru Callender

    The starter was the real winner…love to all.

    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling

      So wish I could have been there.

      Charles Cowling
  15. Charles Cowling
    Tony Boreham

    Congratulations to all the award winners and finalists. Tony.

    Charles Cowling
  16. Charles Cowling
    Luke Adams

    Congratulations to all the winners & nominees, it was a great evening!

    Charles Cowling
  17. Charles Cowling
    Poppy Mardall

    Huge congratulations all of you! Such worthy winners!

    Charles Cowling

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