Not good enough

Fran Hall 2 Comments
Fran Hall

An official government digital ‘Bereavement Leaflet’ document has just appeared, purporting to provide ‘Information for the Bereaved’ for people in England during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It can be found here.

It’s not a great document to be honest. It doesn’t give very much useful information, but what it does state very clearly is “A first step will be to choose a funeral director. You can find an industry-inspected local funeral director via the following websites:

The National Association of Funeral Directors:

The National Society of Allied and independent Funeral Directors:’

That’s it.

It seems that the government are steering anyone who has been bereaved during the current disastrous situation straight to a member of one of the two trade associations. If a company is not a member of either NAFD or SAIF then according to this document they’re probably not worth contacting.

It seems that notwithstanding the market investigation by the CMA into the funeral industry that has so far been less than complimentary about large corporate companies who all belong to a trade association, the government are now suggesting bereaved people choose a funeral director who is a member of a funeral director trade association. On the premise that they are ‘industry-inspected’.

Just for the record, we think this is wrong.

Some of the best funeral directors feel that neither trade association represents them sufficiently well. Many of these are companies recommended by the Good Funeral Guide who have been through our accreditation process.

You can read a series of guest posts from some superb funeral directors outlining why they choose not to belong to either trade association here.


  1. Fran Hall

    The Good Funeral Guide is there to help you negotiate the funeral industry by informing you of the process, of your rights and responsibilities, and of the position an undertaker and others occupy in your personal grieving ritual.
    If you decide (and it is indeed YOUR decision) to take responsibility for disposing of your loved-one’s remains, then an undertaker (if you employ one) is one of your disbursements, of the same status as the florist, printer, celebrant or crematorium. She or he transports the body, stores it, ensures the doctors’ Forms 4 and 5 are filled in (if you haven’t done it yourself), and then transports it again; that’s their body-specialist job done, for those of us who don’t want to handle our own dead (admittedly problematical at the moment).
    That all undertakers have a vested interest in a sideline they call ‘funeral directing’ only means they’ll do the other stuff for you that you could have done for yourself but didn’t want to, such as booking the crematorium on a mutually convenient day and time, and… er… well, not much else really, in my experience as a funeral support worker for those who decide to take ownership and control.
    Membership of an organization, for undertakers, florists or any of the above, is at best a suggestion to look into the organization that endorses them after you’ve sussed for yourself how they feel and look and smell and empathize…
    so, no, ‘official government digital ‘Bereavement Leaflet’ document’; please don’t treat me like a child by channeling me into your briefly-glimpsed and ill-informed route towards the grown-ups… I’m an adult, I can make decisions for myself, and all I may or may not need from you is to impart impartial information without pretending you know something I can’t know. You’re only the government, not the State; you’re here to inform, not to direct.

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