Family and independent funeral directors are, if they’re halfway competent, comfortably off. Vocational undertakers who work for chains of funeral directors or one of the conglomerates, Dignity or the Co-op, take home a lot less—all of them less than £25,000 a year, some a lot less than that. The profits of funerals are rarely distributed among wage slaves.

The brightest and most enterprising vocational funeral directors bravely set up on their own. Because they are motivated by a love of what they do and a desire to serve, rather than make pots of money, many of them keep their charges very low—lower than they ought.