Here at the Darley Dale FoB we have had our educational outreach project running for just six months.
Last Thursday we held a showing of the film Departures.
We have held 2 end-of-life planning events and find that people are far less suspicious of us than if we were a bunch of funeral directors, IFAs and local solicitors.
We have joined forces with the local credit union to enable people to save for their funeral.
Once they have lodged the funds they get a voucher which their executor can use to buy a funeral anywhere they wish — and keep the change. It’s such a simple idea you wonder why the commercial funeral planners never thought of it.
We have begun to contribute to the PSHE syllabus in our local comprehensive school with a series of lessons based on the film Beyond Goodbye: http://beyondgoodbye.co.uk/
Our experience is that neighbours, ie community members, relish the opportunity to support the bereaved when we ask them to roll up their sleeves and do stuff for them.
Makes a change from crossing the street, doesn’t it?
We find that the bereaved can help themselves a lot by getting stuck in as best they can, too.
We reckon that our FoB has created a very dynamic, 21st century congregation.
Our funeral director, Mike, has been brilliant.
He’s given us the use of a small room which we are going to convert into a drop-in resource centre where people can come off the street to read and think, and where we can hold small meetings and consultations.
Incidentally, Mike says all this has made a difference to the way people greet him when he’s out and about.
I like to say to him, “Mike, together we’re bringing death to life”!