Direct cremation or a funeral?

We all know about the inevitability of death, but what about funerals…do they have to be the same? It appears not. An increasing number of British people are choosing to forgo a traditional funeral. 

It’s not surprising since the average funeral in the UK now costs around £4000 and the number of people practising an organised religion has rapidly declined. In 1920, only 0.34% of British deaths were cremated compared to almost 80% now. As the times change, our attitudes towards death change too.

Increasingly people are choosing not to have a hastily organised gathering before a cremation takes place. They are instead having what is called a direct cremation – this is where the deceased is collected from their place of death and then cremated privately without any mourners in attendance. The family can then receive the ashes of their loved one and hold their own service in whatever fashion they choose.

Direct Cremation has been pioneered by a British company called Direct Cremation by Harbour. Its founder, Steven Cains, has seen the number of people selecting direct cremation increase exponentially. Now roughly 1 in 14 Britons are choosing a direct cremation. In large part due to the flexibility and efficiency of the service.

And it appears Mr Cains is not stopping there. He recently founded a second company, Willow Lake Funeral Directors, to provide funerals at an affordable price for the British public. They offer a fixed price attended funeral service for less than £2000. It’s clear this is also becoming a popular choice as they have several new branches under construction.

There are also plenty of new options when deciding what to do with the ashes. Choices include turning ashes into jewellery, interring the ashes into a coral reef under the sea, or even sending them into space.

So it appears that while death is unavoidable, an expensive funeral bill is not.