Charles Cowling
  Two new academic studies are likely to engage the interest, and may influence the strategic planning, of undertakers and celebrants. The first tracks the decline of religious belief in America together with the decline of those who identify as spiritual. It discovers, in spite of this, that increasing numbers of
Charles Cowling
  Alice Pitman, in the Christmas edition of the Oldie magazine, describes her extremely unwell 88 year-old mother rising to the occasion in hospital:  Eventually a porter came and perfunctorily wheeled her to theatre. [We] followed down an interminably long corridor, the Aged P issuing instructions over her shoulder about
Charles Cowling
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Charles Cowling
  Posted by Richard Rawlinson    …Venus and Mars and all that: relations between those with and those without faith can get prickly, something which inevitably affects discussion of funeral ritual and belief in the afterlife. Two small pleasures of posting here are occasional positive feedback, and amicable sparring when
Charles Cowling
  Posted by Richard Rawlinson     “I’ve been to funerals where I was pretty sure the majority were atheists and they listened to the vicar say the deceased had gone to a better place and everyone’s toes curled. We can’t prove it’s not so but the chances that it

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Charles Cowling
  The Natural Death Handbook, Fifth Edition A thoroughly updated and revised edition of the Natural Death Centre‘s celebrated handbook. Now presented alongside a new collection of essays on death, dying and funeral practices by doctors, historians, authors, poets, theologians and artists including Richard Barnett, David Jay Brown, Dr Sheila Cassidy,
Charles Cowling
Posted by Vale It’s natural to fear death and you might think that, just as naturally, religion would help you face and overcome your fears. But it ain’t necessarily so. In a recent book, Society Without God, Anne, a 43 year old Hospice nurse from Aarhus in Denmark is interviewed.
Charles Cowling
    By Richard Rawlinson   Today’s elderly, even when not religious, are more likely to choose a funeral conducted by a priest (pastor/vicar depending on denomination) than a secular celebrant. Given the choice between a person in a robe or business suit, they opt for the former. Their decision
Charles Cowling
  We’re always struck here at the GFG by the vilification which the unchurched can heap upon those in holy orders. It never seems to happen the other way round. Almost all secular funerals are notably inclusive and hospitable towards believers. Now that we are living in a multifaith society
Charles Cowling
  Following last week’s great debate between the GFG religious correspondent, various unbelievers and a handful of don’t-knows [here] it was gripping this morning to sip tea in bed and listen to John Gray arguing that ‘we’d all be better off if we stopped believing in belief’.   The ten-minute