Matthew Lucas Funeral Directors is a joint venture between Matthew Lucas and the family business of A. G. Down. There are three directors of the business: Matt, Eric Dunford & Julian Hussey. Matt is Dorchester born and bred with over 17 years experience as a local Funeral Director. Eric is Bridport born and bred, as is Julian.
All are committed to ethical conduct in the way they run their business. They will treat you fairly — they are passionate about straight dealing. Their pricing structure is transparent and is posted on their website. They will not sting you for hidden extras and they don’t take commission from their suppliers. Many funeral directors will collect 10 per cent of the price of the flowers from their florist – they don’t. They have no objection to you buying your coffin on the internet (most funeral directors hate this) but, if you want to do that, be very careful who you buy from. See our Coffins page. Once you have agreed your arrangements you will be given a proper estimate and you will at no time be pressured to spend more than you have budgeted for.
Matthew Lucas is well known to many people in Dorchester. He is softly spoken and very, very kind. He was, for many years, a nurse, until he felt drawn to work with bereaved people. For a long time he wanted to open his own funeral business, and in 2013, after years working for other funeral directors, Matt’s dream became a reality when he and Julian agreed to become partners and create a new funeral service for the people of Dorchester. Matt is a Dorchester man through and through. A sportsman, he has enjoyed a long association with Dorchester Town Football Club, where he is Chairman, as well as being the youth welfare officer. Matthew is married and has two children, a boy and a girl. He and his family live upstairs at Down House, an unusual thing these days to have the funeral director living above the premises.
Matt is assisted by Debbie Griffiths who is the administrator here. If you call during the day it will be either Debbie or Matt that you speak to.
Down House is a beautiful building. Large and grand from outside, the honey coloured brickwork is complemented by the matching slate signs flanking the door. Inside, high ceilings and attractive modern furnishing in the spacious reception area give a sense of the quality of service you will receive here. There is a private room for making funeral arrangements, and adjacent room has a display of memorials, urns and literature. At the back of the building through double doors is a large ‘quiet room’ – Matthew prefers this description to the more commonly used ‘chapel of rest’. Wooden shutters provide privacy from the outside world, and the space is large enough to hold small ceremonies in if you prefer to use it rather than holding a ceremony elsewhere.
If it’s a traditional funeral you want, that’s what you’ll get. Your funeral director will dress extremely smartly for the occasion and lead the procession in the customary manner. The vehicles will be Jaguars, and very handsome they are, too. If, on the other hand, you’d like something different or more alternative or less formal, that’s no problem at all. They’ll be governed by your wishes and they’ll do as you ask — willingly.
The focus will always be on giving you what you want. You will be able to explore choices and consider all the options. You will be offered guidance, but your funeral director will not take over. You will be given informed advice about other service providers who are right for you, from celebrants to caterers to florists. You will always be treated with courtesy and respect, and you will be encouraged to take all the time you need. All who work here are nice, normal, down-to-earth people like us, who love what they do and try their best to help you arrange the funeral that’s going to be right for you. They don’t do things their way, they do things your way.
Quite possibly the only funeral home in Dorset that publishes its prices openly on their website — and offer you a copy to take away with you. We especially like the way they put your wishes and interests first in everything. Each funeral home is completely self-contained and people who have died rest in the town where they passed away, in the same premises where you make the arrangements.
Matt tries to always come himself to collect people who have died at home, bringing one of his colleagues for assistance. Personal service is of paramount importance to him, and he believes it is essential that the person who comes to collect your relative is the one who will be entrusted with their care from that point onwards.
If you want to come and visit the person who has died in the evening, that’s no problem. Make an appointment and take all the time you like.
• Embalming – Not as a matter of routine. Only when it is your wish and / or the Funeral Director feel it is necessary, in which case, they will talk it through with you.
• Continuity of Care – The person with whom you arrange the funeral will lead the cortege on the day except in exceptional circumstances. If it can’t be that person, then the funeral director who will be in charge on the day will introduce him/herself well in advance.
• Family Participation – If you want to carry the coffin, they’ll show you how. If you’d like to come in and wash and dress the person who has died, they’ll be there for you. If you’d just like to come in do their hair, that’s absolutely no problem. They believe in empowering you to do what you want and they help you in any way they can.
• Same sex person to wash and dress? – Yes, if you want. No problem. Just ask.
• Ethnic Specialism – Knowledgeable about the funeral customs of all faith groups, and every branch has the facilities for ritual cleansing, etc.
• Local Celebrants – Excellent local celebrants to choose from if you do not want a religious minister.
• Home arranged funerals – Will gladly work with you in any way you want if you who wish to care for the person who has died at home: see the Do It All Yourself section of the Good Funeral Guide website.
• Website – Lots of useful info well set out. All prices shown, a custom all-too-rare in the funerals business.
• Client Support – After the funeral, call in anytime for a cuppa – they’ll always be pleased to see you. If you need a bit of extra support, they’ll put you in touch with people who can help.
• Money matters – Not the cheapest, but then there’s nothing bargain-basement about the service you’ll get. By no means the most expensive, either. Shop around — you owe it to yourself to do that — and you’ll find them very competitively priced. Considering the value of the experience you will receive, we reckon them good value for money. If money is a problem they’ll do their very best to help you. The only way they can do that is if you are completely upfront about your situation, so don’t hold back. If you need to apply to the Social Fund for a Funeral Payment, they’ll guide you through the paperwork. If you’d like to pay for your funeral in advance, they sell Perfect Choice funeral plans, one of only two funeral plans we believe to be absolutely safe and reliable.
Parking – Immediately outside the very handsome premises.
All the feel of a family funeral director and all the hallmarks of an extremely well-run business with a very big heart. A funeral home that’s in tune with its community, staffed by exceptionally kind and knowledgeable people we are sure you will feel comfortable with.
Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.
Amazing and supportive throughout. Truly professional Service. Would highly recommend to anyone.
Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 4:33 pm
Excellent service, and very helpful having all costs estimated up front.
Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 4:33 pm
Excellent service, would highly recommend.
Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 4:32 pm
For all the kindness showed to my family at that time of loss – thank you.
Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 4:28 pm
Very well organised, with no cause for concern from the setting up of the plan through to the final services.
Monday 10th March 2014 at 4:12 pm
The recent funeral of my beloved husband was superbly carried out by Matthew Lucas Funeral Directors. Matt himself is well organised and very sympathetic and easy to get on with. He made the whole process as smooth and fuss-free as was possible and I depended upon him entirely for the organisation and timing. Everything was beautifully done. I cannot recommend him too highly.
Tuesday 17th September 2013 at 10:13 pm
Really lovely write up, thank you…..I am a proud parent!
Tuesday 17th September 2013 at 2:55 pm
Just to say a great big thank you for everything you did for us all.