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The Truth Behind

Direct Cremation

Upton-upon-Severn’s only qualified, independent funeral directors.

Owned and run by the Jackson family.

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Re-invention of Funeral Trends

Trends in the funeral profession are something most people have never thought existed but strangely enough they are tracked and exploited in the same manner as any other industry:

  • The rise of cremations.The first, legal, cremation in the UK took place on 26th March 1885 and it was seen as a barbaric way to conduct a funeral. Look forward by 130 years and cremation is more popular than burial as a final committal. (the use of fire in a funeral process has been around for many years prior to this)
  • The return of planning ahead for a funeral. There is loose evidence that the Ancient Egyptians, Roman Empire and Medieval Times had forms of funeral insurance schemes. During the Victorian period there were 'burial clubs' which were unfortunately mis-managed resulting in Government legal controls being put in place. From the 19th century until quite recently, no such pre-planning existed until Funeral Pre-Payment Plan companies offered a structured form of investment to cover funeral costs.
  • Green/Eco-Friendly funerals. What began as an option for the hardened eco-warrior has now become accepted as a standard alternative to a 'traditional' burial in a churchyard. To be able to personalise a funeral and also limit the environmental impact gained the public's interest and has become very popular over the past couple of decades. Burials, without the formal cemetery have happened throughout history, so again it is the re-invention of a previous practice.

So where does Direct Cremation fit in?

Direct cremation is the new trend within the funeral profession. Like the above trends, direct cremations have been around for many years but not always under the same title. One title it has been linked with is a pauper's cremation, however the modern service is nothing like a pauper's funeral, to begin with it is selected as an option not as a last resort.

What was once seen as a type of service for those who could not afford a traditional form of funeral has now become a choice for those who wish to have something simple. Over the past decade I have heard families say their loved one wanted no fuss made and no money wasted. What has stopped this type of service from emerging until recently is down to many variants including, but not limited to;

  • The public's perception of what should be provided for a dignified service.
  • Pride that a family is honouring a loved one in the accepted manner.
  • Worry that the family will be seen as poor by not spending the money on an elaborate service.
  • The feeling of resonsibility to provide a service so other's can attend.
  • Funeral Directors - some see direct cremation as companies 'cheapening the trade' or not being respectful to the deceased. This attitude can sadly influence a family's decision.

Different types of Direct Cremation Providers

There are 4 types of companies offerin direct cremation services:

1. Independent funeral directors (like ourselves)

Independent funeral directors offer direct cremation in-line with their traditional services. This tends to mean that they use the same staff, vehicles and facilities as a full service. The deceased will be looked after in the same way as a traditional funeral i.e. kept in a temperature controlled mortuary. The service a family will receive will still be personal and professional. If a family which to make alterations to the packaged service they can (adding floral tributes) arranging a memorial service, the use of a chapel of rest. A family will tend to deal with an experienced funeral professional whose day-to-day work is with bereaved families. Remember to check for qualifications!

2. Nationally owned funeral directors

These providers can be upfront about their ownership such as The Co-operative who offer 'Cremation without Ceremony', others hide behind a different company name; Dignity use the trading name Simplicity Cremations and Funeral Partners use the trading name Simply Funerals. As they all offer traditional funerals aswell, if the direct cremation package is unsuitable you can discuss different options. They all have a network of branches usually operated by experienced funeral staff.

3. Direct Cremation only providers

These companies offer only direct cremations. Some of the companies are owned by former funeral directors, some have no experience. Due to the nature of these companies it is hard to detirmine how and where the deceased are cared for. As a niche business it is unlikely to have flexiblity on the packages offered. They do however do 'what it says on the tin' but it may be worth questioning mortuary and storage facilities.

4. 3rd Party Sellers.

Websites offering price comparisons or funeral guides that require you to complete a form to receive a call back. These tend to be sales led companies, they will gain all the information they need and pass the details to one of the above 3 for a commission. They have little experience within the funeral profession and no involvement in the funeral process, apart from invoicing another company (who will add the amount to your invoice). A quick search on the internet will give you enough information about providers without paying a salesman, do not fall into the trap.

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