Pure Cremation | News and Events
For all the latest news and events from The Pure Group
Young Brits are getting better at talking about death, while the older generation is repeatedly putting off the conversation until it is too late, according to research revealed today. A One Poll study of 1,000 people, commissioned by Pure Cremation, found almost three-quarters of the over 65s (73%) never raised the subject of death with their mum. And when it comes to talking to Dad, a massive four in five (79%) admit to never having had the conversation.
Is generation Z breaking the last taboo?
While almost two-thirds of Brits say they would find it ‘very stressful’ to arrange a funeral without knowing what kind of send-off their loved ones wanted, this study suggests millions of Baby Boomers will have seen their parents pass without knowing their final wishes.
Reassuringly, almost two thirds (62%) of 18-25-year-olds say they have actually had a conversation about mortality. Almost half (45%) are more likely to turn to a friend, with mum coming a close second (41%); however young people are less likely to speak to dad about death (30%), than to gran or grandad (35%) or a sibling (32%).
Interestingly, young Brits today are more comfortable talking about their own death (60%), than someone else’s (54%). Despite ushering in a new era of openness, they confess to finding the conversation sad (49%), scary (41%), difficult (33%) and uncomfortable (33%). In stark contrast, the over 65s are more likely to use words such as necessary (57%), important (50%) and natural (39%).
Catherine Powell, co-founder and director of Pure Cremation, said: “These findings show that while avoidance of talking about dying is an epidemic among the over 65s, this age group has the best understanding of the value of the conversation.
“Although there is still a lot of work to be done to remove any fear and awkwardness around the subject, it is hugely encouraging that a brave new generation of young people are up for tackling this challenge – and the great news is they are actually getting on with it and talking about the fact that eventually, our time will come to an end.”
Surprisingly, the older generation is only slightly better prepared for the end than young people today, with 16% of over 65s saying they avoid talking about death because they haven’t thought about their final wishes, whereas one in five (20%) of 18-24s reveal they haven’t made a plan for their own send-off.
And both generations do have something in common; the main reason they give for not talking about death is that ‘the idea of death is scary’.
The research reveals the part technology might play in breaking down the taboo of death. More than half (51%) of 18-25-year-olds would consider discussing the subject via an online forum, with more than four in ten willing to use an app (44%) or Skype or FaceTime (41%).
Sam Owen is a relationship coach and psychologist who has worked with Pure Cremation on its Dead Good Report – a state-of-the-nation report which looks at attitudes to death and dying, and new funeral trends, such as the growth of direct cremation.
Sam Owen said: “We must all be completely honest with ourselves and others when it comes to the subject of death, not least because it is a natural part of life. I would urge people of all ages to talk about death. Make it as emotionally comfortable as possible; and use these conversations to give you perspective, motivation and energy – as reminder of the limited time we all have.
“Being open about death can prepare us for when a loved one passes, giving us resilience through the grieving process. Importantly, if you don’t have the big conversation with those close to you, you will miss out on learning what you can do to fulfil the final wishes of your loved ones when the time comes.”
To find out more information about Pure Cremation, please visit www.purecremation.co.uk/ or call 0800 182 2163.
To download the Dead Good Report, please visit www.purecremation.co.uk/thedeadgoodreport/
Pure Cremation commemorates ground-breaking at Charlton Park Crematorium
The UK’s leading direct cremation specialist, Pure Cremation, has marked the start of construction at Charlton Park Crematorium on Hatherden Road in Andover with an official ground-breaking ceremony.
Pure Cremation commemorates ground-breaking at Charlton Park Crematorium
In what’s been a busy week with Pure Cremation addressed Andover’s first ever Funeral Stakeholder’s meeting, secured planning consent for the new crematorium, plus directors and co-founders, Bryan and Catherine Powell, invited Canon Jill Bentall and representatives from local independent funeral providers, S & J Maddocks, to commemorate the start of the build programme, along with appointed contractors, Amiri Construction.
When complete in spring 2019, Charlton Park Crematorium will meet the demand in Andover and surrounding areas for funeral services. It will also serve Pure Cremation’s direct cremation customers from across the UK, with interest in this modern alternative continuing to grow after David Bowie specifically chose this simple style of send-off.
Catherine Powell, director and co-founder of Pure Cremation, explained why it was so important to involve others who support the bereaved in Andover at such an early stage in the build programme: “The vision for Charlton Park Crematorium is of a valued community asset local people can be proud of, and which will provide families with the quality farewell experience they deserve – whatever their final wishes may be. We are already working closely with the likes of clergy, civil celebrants and funeral home staff to achieve this vision and to meet the changing needs of Andover’s families.
“Funeral care-givers in the area are setting a truly innovative example and so we were delighted to accept Canon Jill Bentall’s invitation to speak at the first Funeral Stakeholder Meeting held at Bridge St Methodist Church. It was a great opportunity to outline our vision and answer questions.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from the professional community since we first revealed our plans for Charlton Park Crematorium. Many stakeholders have taken the time to understand our proposition –including S & J Maddocks funeral directors – and we look forward to continuing to develop a collaborative relationship built around offering every family the choice of a meaningful farewell on their terms.“
Charlton Park Crematorium represents a major investment by Pure Cremation in creating a sensitively-designed, state-of-the-art crematorium on vacant land in Andover. A thoughtfully-planned and detailed landscaping scheme for the 11-acre site includes the retention of all protected trees and enhanced boundary planting, to create a tranquil setting for contemplation and remembrance.
The crematorium will feature a chapel which seats up to 80 mourners, a cremator hall, vestry, cosy farewell space for small gatherings, administrators’ office and car parking. The facilities will enable Pure Cremation to provide an improved service; with greater flexibility on the timing of committals, and innovative options such as ‘virtual attendance’ and ‘virtual witness’, among the many additional benefits for its customers.
In a move which reaffirms its commitment to Andover, Pure Cremation will relocate its headquarters from Newbury to Charlton Park Crematorium. With all its services brought together under one roof families will have the reassurance of knowing their loved ones are being looked after from the moment they come into Pure Cremation’s care until the scattering or return of the ashes.
Canon Jill Bentall said: “It was my pleasure to visit site and to officially commemorate the ground-breaking milestone at Charlton Park Crematorium. Having been very interested to learn about Pure Cremation’s future plans, I welcomed the opportunity to find out more about this important new community facility and to meet the team behind its construction.”
What is a direct cremation?
A direct cremation is a modern alternative to a traditional cremation funeral, where the cremation takes place completely separately from the personal farewell.
Direct cremation involves the collection and care of the deceased with dignity and respect. The coffin is delivered to the crematorium; and here the cremation takes place without a service and usually without any mourners being present. The ashes are then returned to the family – in Pure Cremation’s case, they are hand-delivered within 28 days of the cremation.
Direct cremation gives people the freedom to celebrate the lives of their loved ones in a far more personalised way – when and how it suits them. It is therefore a straightforward, liberating, fuss-free choice; and it also represents excellent value for money when compared to the average costs of a traditional funeral.
About Pure Cremation?
Pure Cremation is trusted by more than a thousand families each year to guide them through the process of a dignified, fuss-free cremation without any compromise on the quality of care, and to inspire them to make the most of this new freedom to say goodbye their way.
The 21-strong Pure Cremation team, which is based in Newbury, has the capacity to serve thousands of families every year with trademark kindness and attention to detail. Each individual member of the team is equally committed to Bryan and Catherine’s original vision of simple care delivered to the highest standards.
CMA investigates funerals sector
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing funeral costs, "to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal". The study will examine whether the information provided by funeral directors on prices and services is clear enough for people to be able to choose the best option for them.
Review of pricing to open up the conversation about what people actually want, need and value when saying goodbye
Commenting on the news that the Competition and Markets Authority is launching an investigation into the price of funerals Catherine Powell, co-founder and director of direct cremations specialist Pure Cremation, says:
“This review of funeral pricing will help open up the conversation about what people actually want, need and value when it comes to saying goodbye to a loved one. The bereaved should be treated as vulnerable consumers and given much more help to make informed decisions. While the professional and compassionate service funeral directors deliver can be incredibly good value for money, it is high time the true cost of delivering a cremation is reflected in the amount a consumer pays. Many believe that funerals are priced as “distress purchases” and this review is a great opportunity to make recommendations that restore public confidence in the industry.
“Our team are at the ECM meeting in Brussels this week looking at cremation practice and policy across Europe so that we can be at the cutting edge in this arena, as well as high quality, low-cost care given to clients.
“We are about to build and open the UK’s first facility that makes direct cremation an integral part of the business model. This will play a key role in ensuring that the bereaved have easy access to low-cost cremations that other providers only offer on a limited basis, if at all.”
More information about the investigation can be found here: www.gov.uk/government
Pure Cremation sponsors Dying Matters launch event
Pure Cremation is the 2018 headline sponsor of the Dying Matters in Your Community launch event, designed to kick-start a nationwide ‘big conversation’ about death.
Pure Cremation Sponsors Dying Matters launch event
“Our British reserve gets in the way of us having an open and honest conversation about how we would like to spend our last days, what is important to us and how we would like to be remembered.”
Pure Cremation is the 2018 headline sponsor of the Dying Matters in Your Community launch event, designed to kick-start a nationwide ‘big conversation’ about death.
It is the first time that the leading provider of direct cremations in the UK has sponsored this event, organised by Dying Matters, which is part of Hospice UK and campaigns to encourage people to break this last taboo and talk openly about dying, death and bereavement.
The event will be attended by around 100 representatives from the NHS, faith groups, the hospice movement, the Care Quality Commission and the Cremation Society of Great Britain.
Members of the public will also be there to get inspiration and advice on how to organise an event of their own to bring this challenging subject into the open during Dying Matters Awareness Week, planned for 14th – 20th May 2018.
Speakers will include author Kevin Toolis, whose book ‘My Father’s Wake’ was published last year, Gary Rycroft, chair of the Dying Matters Forum, Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK and Linda Magistris, CEO of The Good Grief Trust.
Catherine Powell, Customer Experience Director of Pure Cremation, said: “Our British reserve gets in the way of talking about how we want to spend our last days, what matters to us, and how we want to be remembered. Times have changed, and funerals are changing too, so it’s more important than ever to get this conversation going.
“In the absence of clear requests, grieving families go into “autopilot” and rely on the local undertaker to guide them through a traditional funeral, mainly because they’re in no state to research all of the options. The result may be an unsuitable funeral that costs more than the deceased would have wanted them to spend.
“Only one in four of us tell our families in advance what sort of funeral we would like to have, which is a great pity because chatting things through with loved ones can bring families closer together and ends confusion.
“Many people tell us that they want a celebration of life event at a favourite place, others reject the fuss and bother of a traditional send-off, but all are determined to remove uncertainty, prevent overspending and reduce distress.
“Having a conversation about your “goodbye” can be a very positive experience and Dying Matters Awareness Week is the biggest campaign in England, encouraging communities across the country to come up with their own events to get people talking about the only thing we can all count on.”
Events last year were diverse, ranging from coffee mornings and talks about palliative care to tours of crematoria and included some very public invitations to people to think about their mortality.
In Lincoln shoppers were invited to chalk up their ‘bucket list’ of things they’d like to do before they died, while the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden held 70 events in its ‘Pushing up the Daisies Festival’ which ended with a Firey Folky Funeral Feast.
Pure Cremation is the UK’s only dedicated provider of direct cremation – the no-fuss alternative to a traditional funeral. A direct cremation is a low-key affair in which the deceased person is collected and cared for before a cremation without any funeral service. The ashes are then returned to the family who can arrange their own farewells at a later date if they so wish.
Growing in popularity, direct cremations now account for in the region of seven per cent of all cremations in the UK. They appeal to people for a wide variety of reasons – some don’t like funerals, full stop, others don’t want to have a religious or formal ceremony. Some appreciate the freedom to arrange a very personalised farewell on a separate occasion, for others the sheer simplicity of the concept is attractive.
Catherine explained: “Families hold all sorts of commemorations after a direct cremation – be it scattering ashes in a favourite woodland, a thanksgiving service in the local church or lighting candles around the globe to join a scattered family together.
“Whatever their reasons, more people are choosing direct cremations for themselves, particularly after experiencing the direct cremation of a friend or relative.”
The Dying Matters In Your Community Launch Event is being held at Woburn House Conference Centre, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HQ, on 6 February 2018 and is fully booked. The first session will be streamed live on the Dying Matters Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DyingMatters/ from 10-10:20.
Newsletters and updates
Summer 2017 - Strength to Strength
It's hard to believe that just 12 months ago Pure Cremation moved from tiny premises in Bromsgrove, stopping briefly in Oxford while a suitable home was sought, and finally settling in 5000 sq ft of offices and workshop space in Newbury last September.
Going from strength to strength
We are delighted to be celebrating the anniversaries of four full-time staff who joined us Spring 2016 – Louise Minards, Jerome Bennett, Harriet Castle and Paul Rea. Jerome was the only new team member with any funeral experience and this was immediately put to good use collecting the deceased, returning to our client care facility and then taking them safely to the crematorium each day. We’d like to pay tribute to his hard work and endurance over the last year – working long days and covering thousands of miles a week to ensure we look after clients across England and Wales.
Paul Rea our ashes return specialist had worked with us previously and has fully justified our belief that his quiet commitment to customer service would be a real asset. His role carries quite a responsibility – he is the one team member that most of our clients meet, and could be described as the “face” of Pure Cremation..
As demand for this style of service continues to grow our founders, Bryan and Catherine, need to focus more on managing the business. We’re fortunate to have found another experienced full-time driver, Karl, ably supported by Steve, Gerrard and Wayne who together cheerfully share the on-call rota as well as covering the country looking after clients as needed, whether that’s a 4.00am start or an 8.00pm finish.
Louise and Harriet came to us with open minds, having had no previous experience in funeral service. Both have been eager to learn and more importantly to serve, understanding that everything they do has an impact on the customers’ experience. It’s a real pleasure to work with them, and I know that our newest recruit, Louise Kiely will benefit from their expertise and warm approach.
In the months ahead these founder members of our team will play a key role in training new colleagues, sharing what they have learned, making sure that we continue to set the standard for this style of send-off.
What to do with the ashes?
It can be difficult to decide what to do with the ashes after a cremation, especially if you aren’t sure what is allowed. Some families know exactly what they want, others need time to decide. A few just don’t want to think about this at all, which means some ashes stay with us for months, even years.
The Catholic church recently announced that cremated remains should be interred in consecrated ground, not kept at home or scattered. Hindus and Sikhs have never been permitted to keep the ashes at home, but must arrange to have them scattered into running water; a number of boat charter companies on the Thames can assist with this.
What about the rest of us? We’re all familiar with the official options (local churchyard or cemetery) but funeral styles are changing partly because religion plays little or no part in most people’s lives and because many of us now live far from where we were born.
The families who select a Pure Cremation choose a wide range of different things, from incorporating ashes into beautiful glass jewellery to dividing one set of remains into 50 small portions to be buried in special places around the world. People are astonishingly creative in their quest to create meaningful rituals and resting places for their loved ones.
Catherine has written a blog “Do’s and Don’ts of Scattering Ashes” to give those looking for the perfect spot some guidance. Click Here to read it.
In the News
A key part of our mission to widen choice includes raising awareness of Direct Cremation and the work of Pure Cremation. Our management team are always alert to opportunities to achieve this and we were very pleased to be able to contribute to Radio 4’s consumer programme, You & Yours, on 20th June featuring an interview with Anne Moir who chose Pure Cremation to look after her beloved Mum earlier this year and afterwards expressed her readiness to help spread the word about this style of farewell. We are deeply grateful to Anne and to those others who have agreed to their positive experiences being shared in the Media.
There is considerable interest in our enterprise in the business press too – co-founder Bryan Powell has already been interviewed by on-line publication Mergers & Markets and was selected by Business Quarterly for a piece in their next edition.
Our most recent contribution featured as part of an piece examining the biggest change in the funeral profession – this appeared in the business pages of the Telegraph on August 21st.
Any new market opportunity will naturally attract good providers and bad providers. Direct Cremation is no exception and below you’ll find a link to our guide to choosing the right funeral provider for you. We hope this will be picked up by the media, but in the meantime share with with everyone you know!
In early July 2017 the Fairer Finance report (sponsored by Dignity) looked at the care needed when buying a pre-paid funeral plan. When reports like this are published every provider must review their set up and practices to ensure each are fit for purpose. Complacency is simply not an option. We are very proud that our simple scheme is easy to understand with no hidden costs and the funds available for the cremation are not eroded by hefty commissions to third party re-sellers or the plan managers. Click the link below for our full response.
RESPONSE TO FAIRER FINANCE REPORT
HOW TO CHOOSE A DC PROVIDER
The results are in!
In the last newsletter we launched our on-line survey programmes for everyone visiting the Planning Ahead page of the website. Thank you to all who have completed the short questionnaire, your answers give us a valuable insight into why people want a plan, and why the Pure Cremation Pre-Paid Funeral Plan appeals to them.
Here are the headline results:
There is a confirmed, gradual shift away from traditional funerals as people seek something more appropriate and personal.
A third of Pure Cremation Funeral Plan customers had originally considered a traditional funeral before taking out one of our plans, but 27% didn’t want a fuss, 16% were of no religious denomination, while 14% admitted not liking funerals.
Wanting a farewell party, protecting loved ones from financial stress and avoiding “fuss” were the most popular reasons for choosing a funeral plan.
When it comes to choosing the Pure Cremation Plan 57% of respondents highlighted the attraction of our simple, low-cost pricing structure, while 42 % cited rising funeral costs in general.
Catherine Powell, our Customer Experience Director, said: “Our survey shows a range of reasons for choosing direct cremation, with the freedom to create a more personal farewell listed as a key factor. More than half of respondents didn’t want loved ones to mourn their deaths, while even more wanted to spare them from the stress of arranging their funeral.”
We also surveyed prospective customers through our website, asking on a scale of one to ten, how likely they were to purchase one of our plans. Nearly half of these respondents scored 8 out of 10 or more citing our standard of service, savings, a dislike of other options, and direct cremation meeting the needs of the individual.
The awareness about this service is still very low but even people hearing about it for the first time are open and receptive to this new way of doing things. That’s why we’re investing in substantial campaigns to let many more people know they have this choice.
The survey results help shape our communications and campaigns and have real value, that’s why we offer a monthly prize draw for all survey respondents and we’re delighted to announce the prize draw winners for May. June and July are: K Hall, R Hardy-King and H Franklin who have each been sent an M&S gift card with a value of £100!
The demand for our services has reached a level that allows Pure Cremation to make considered choices about key elements such as the coffin and the ashes container to ensure that these express our values as effectively as our staff do.
Last September Bryan and Catherine travelled to see whether one of Europe’s biggest coffin manufacturers could help us include a simple, quality coffin with great eco-credentials without increasing our price.
Most families will never see the coffin but it really matters to Catherine and Bryan that this is the best value and quality available and delivers the same level of care given to every family, whether they attend the committal or not.
They were impressed by the solid pine coffin which is sourced from managed forests, assembled with minimal glue or metal and has a distinctive, non-traditional shape that allows gentler handling of the deceased. A perfect expression of our ethos. As well as being the greenest coffins used in the UK they’re delivered by the lorry load, minimising the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and they even assist the cremation process, reducing the consumption of gas.
PLUS last week we received the official certificate and stamp proving that these elegantly simple coffins meet the UK industry standards (and then some).
Spring 2017 - Striving for Excellence
Spring is in the air and with the promise of longer and sunnier days on the way we are still just as busy at Pure Cremation. The team is growing, we have purchased 3 additional vehicles, the phone is constantly ringing and our commitment to customer care is as strong as ever.
Striving for customer excellence
We recognise that very few of us like to discuss funerals, never mind our own, so we aim to ensure that every customer contact is simple, friendly and compassionate. So, whether you contact us to buy a funeral plan for your-self or someone else, or call to make urgent arrangements for a loved one, we are here to help you and to make it as easy as possible.
We recently launched a review system and we’re really pleased and encouraged by the feedback – with 209 reviews, 193 of you have given us 5 stars and 13 of you gave us 4 stars.
There is still more work to be done. We don’t expect 5 stars from all our customers but we do want to ensure we get it right for 100% of you every time.
The freedom to choose…
As you may know, Pure Cremation was founded to meet the needs of customers who wanted something other than a traditional funeral with all its formality and expense and it’s great to know we are providing a service that is valued.
Our reviewers often tell us why a direct cremation was the right choice for them, here are just a few of the lovely stories they have shared with us.
My aunt passed away at the fine age of 95 having outlived most of her friends. Most of her relatives live afar in New Zealand and USA. Pure Cremation provided a first-class service. Their team collected my aunt from her care home in a professional and compassionate manner. They arranged a simple cremation and personal delivery of her ashes to me at a specified time. They also provided all necessary certification paperwork allowing me to take her ashes to New Zealand for a family memorial. Peter J
Dad’s ashes will be interred in his local churchyard as he requested in his Will and we’re having a party at his village hall. All much better and more personal than a standard funeral! Casey C
Through using Pure Cremation, we have saved approx. £4,000 on what would have been a dreary and overpriced standard funeral. Instead we are having a family get together and picnic in celebration of my brother’s life, and will be scattering his ashes on the beach where he walked his dogs. How much nicer is that! Kim E
PC Quarterly Autumn 2016
"We knew there was a real need for this simple, cremation-only service, but the level of demand has, quite literally, changed our lives.....and this is just the beginning." Catherine Powell, co-founder and Director.
Onwards & Upwards