Bryan and Catherine Powell started carrying out Pure Cremations in 2012 following a request from a client. In August 2015 they stopped doing traditional funerals to concentrate solely on serving those who want this style of funeral.
We know that some funeral directors don't believe that a Pure Cremation is a "proper" funeral. We have even had clients who had been told it is illegal not to have a traditional style of funeral. This is absolutely untrue.
Our role is simple - to offer the right level of compassionate and practical service to meet your needs.
Our head office and client care facility is based in Newbury, Berkshire, where your initial call will be answered by one of our team. Equipped to the highest standards you are welcome to come and inspect our facilities should you wish.
Our management team, detailed below, are ably assisted by our administrators, Louise Minards and Harriet Castle, who are usually your first point of contact. At present we have 7 operations team members who collect the deceased, transport them to the crematorium and return cremated remains. They travel throughout England and Wales on a daily basis in our fleet of modern, specially equipped vehicles.
Professor Mark Watson-Gandy - Chairman
Mark is our Chairman and is responsible for ensuring that, as a business, we observe the highest standards of corporate governance and that Pure Cremation sets the standard in service and customer care.
Mark is a practising barrister, Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and a Special Lecturer at Cass Business School and has over twenty years’ experience as a company director. He is Head of Professional Standards for the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (currently the largest bookkeeping body in the world with over 200,000 members and students in over 103 countries).
Mark’s diverse clientele has included the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Italian President, Silvio Berlusconi and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. He is presently instructed in a US $1.5 billion recoupment claim in the Stanford International Bank liquidation in Antigua. He drafted the legislation on auditors for Dubai.
His Holiness Pope Benedict knighted him in recognition of “his work as a barrister and law professor for the Catholic Church” in 2007. As well as for his work internationally as a barrister, he is known for his pro-bono work in the parliamentary inquiry into the Gurkha veterans’ welfare, on the lobby for a “Samaritan defence” for St John Ambulance and for the legal work underpinning the 2010 Papal Visit to Britain. He is a Trustee and Director of Apostleship of the Sea (better known as “Stella Maris”, which serves seafarers from across the world) and is Chairman of Mental Health First Aid England.
Bryan Powell - Managing Director
As our Managing Director Bryan is responsible for our day to day operations. As our logistics guru he oversees the schedules of our collection and delivery teams and is often found out on the road himself bringing the deceased into our care or returning loved-one's ashes home.
When in the office Bryan is responsible for our IT systems and has automated much of our workflow through our custom-built Funeral Management System.
Bryan has been involved in the funeral profession since 1987. He passed his Diploma in Funeral Directing in 1989 and was the Founding Chairman of the Independent Funeral Directors' College as well as serving for a number of years on the National Executive of the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).
In addition to running his own business Bryan has experience assisting other businesses on funeral home acquisitions as well as advising venture capital firms looking to invest in the funeral industry.
Catherine Powell - Customer Experience Director
Catherine is responsible for ensuring that each interaction between our team and a client is full of warmth and empathy as well as superb service delivery.
Actively involved in caring for bereaved families 7 days a week you'll find Catherine engaged in every aspect of our service handling initial telephone enquiries, care of the deceased and conveying clients to the crematorium.
Her deep understanding of what customers need and want is the starting point for Pure Cremation's web content, literature and personal communication, all with one aim - to give each client the reassurance and support they deserve.
Catherine is determined that Pure Cremation should set the standard for direct cremation services by combining good operational systems with sincere care for people. She uses her extensive knowledge and expertise to help bereaved families understand the funeral choices available to them, the process of arranging a funeral and how to achieve the send-off that is right for them.
Passionate about increasing consumer awareness of funeral choices Catherine writes most of our blog articles and is already known as an articulate and media-friendly expert able to shed light on a wide range of funeral issues.
Richard Thomerson - Commercial Director
Richard is responsible for developing our business, our buildings and facilities so that Pure Cremation will be able to meet the rapidly growing demand for direct cremation services and cement our position as the UK's leading provider. He also has special responsibility for our funeral plan sales programme.
As a well-rounded and experienced Director/General Manager Richard brings us cross sector and multi-industry experience. His passion for funeral service has seen him engage in a range of hands-on roles and we are lucky to work with someone who gets the same degree of satisfaction from bringing clients into our care as he does from high level partnership negotiations.
Richard has a strong track record in sales leadership and end to end business management and is currently building relationships with a number of sectors and organisations to help Pure Cremation grow quickly enough to meet the anticipated public desire for cremation-only funerals.
Timothy Le Druillenec - Finance Director
Timothy is responsible for the finacial management of Pure Cremation and ensuring that our fuss free funerals remain great value for money.
Timothy has been on the Board of various Public and Private companies over the years mostly as Finance Director and Company Secretary. Several of those companies have been quoted on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, AIM and PLUS/ISDX. He is also currently Finance Director and Company Secretary of Dukemount Capital Plc and occupies the latter role at Silver Falcon Plc, both of which are Main Market companies
As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants he is ideally qualified to help the Pure Cremation Group continue to grow as the leading direct cremation company in England and Wales.