Pure Cremation Comments on Funeral Habits and their Cost.
Continually increasing funeral costs and funeral poverty have once again dominated this year’s Royal London National Funeral Cost Index with the average cost of a funeral rising yet again faster than normal inflation.
OK, it is only marginally above the rate of inflation, but it is a major issue causing debt levels to rise by £79 to £1,680 for those who cannot comfortably afford a funeral. Funeral poverty set a record of more than £160m an increase of around £10m on the previous year.
The report also reveals the funeral industry suffers from vast gulfs in funeral costs from area to area, with widely varying fees for crematoriums and a shortage of burial plots with costs from minor to mind boggling to buy a plot.
So what is needed is a wider choice of ways to say goodbye.
Direct cremations and other ‘no frills’ options are increasingly popular but the report highlights ‘the challenge is to ensure that awareness of these options is raised and consumers are encouraged to shop around more to find the right solution for their needs’.
Pure Cremation is probably the leading specialist in direct cremation, not only offering low-cost cremation-only services but pushing wider conversations about what a funeral should look like and what it should achieve.
Pure Cremation’s Catherine Powell commented: “Britain seems caught between the reality of an almost completely secular society and a template for the final rite of passage that originated 200 years ago. Weddings have changed beyond recognition in the last two decades to reflect preferences – a similar reinvention for funerals is long overdue.
“It is not just a question of cost and the cheapest option – it’s a question of choice and more importantly what is right for the family and the deceased.”
It is now more than 10 years since a report commissioned by the Funeralcare Forum revealed that 80% were disappointed with the funeral they arranged for a loved one – a shocking statistic that had nothing to do with the quality of care provided and everything to do with an anxiety about whether they had “done the right thing”. Another reason for prepaid funeral, where that burden is largely lifted from the shoulders of those left behind.
“People continue to resist talking about death and funerals, perhaps because they don’t realise the range of choices they now have. This causes both emotional and financial distress that could so easily be avoided.”
The team at Pure Cremation feel they have a responsibility that goes beyond simply promoting their service. Price transparency has always been a fundamental part of their approach, along with a consultative service offering clear guidance for bereaved families to help them make fully informed decisions, because they recognised that whilst direct cremation may be the right choice for many it is not for all.
They have also found a way to make a real difference to a group highlighted in the report, those applying for assistance with funeral costs.