Charles Cowling
The prospect of Promession, the brainchild of Susanne Wiighe-Masak, has been around for a few years now. It offers an extremely attractive alternative to cremation. It is clean. It is gentle. Above all, it enables us to return to the earth in an environmentally useful way. If you want to
Charles Cowling
It’s interesting to note that two of the most important drivers for change in modern funerals have come, not from pro-active consumers or wild-eyed visionaries,  but from urgent if mundane economic and environmental needs. They are, famously, natural burial and’ less famously, the held-over cremation. Ken West, for all that
Charles Cowling
A Good Send Off was the title of this year’s Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) annual conference. Well, part of the title – the snappy part. In full it read: A Good Send Off: Local, Regional & National Variations in how the British Dispose of their Dead. It took
Charles Cowling
There’s a fine new essay by Thomas Lynch in the The Christian Century. It’s as wonderfully well written as you’d expect – seductively so. Much of what he says about the modern funeral he has said before: that it “too often replaces theology with therapy, conviction with convenience.” Here are
Charles Cowling
Obachan Funeral 2008 from Steven S Friedman on Vimeo. There’s a thought provoking post over at Mindfulness and Mortality about the role of the body at a funeral. Among many other interesting ideas, blogger Gloriamundi articulates this: Somehow, people have to let a body go. It’s very difficult to do,
Charles Cowling
Here’s an interesting photograph taken by Maeve Berry of a body burning in a cremator (for US readers, a retort). It is one of a series which tracks the process from start to finish. What do you think? Hellish? Or clean, purifying and beautiful? See the rest of the series
Charles Cowling
Here’s an interesting and not unconfusing series of pics from today’s Guardian. Entitled ‘Behind the Last Closed Door’, the photos are by Laura Peters and are on show at the Lighthouse Gallery, Wolverhampton, from 3-18 September. ‘What,’ asks the Guardian, ‘happens behind the scenes at crematorium [sic]? A new exhibition