Founded in 1999 by Rupert Callender, and joined by Claire Callender-Phillips, the pair created a genuinely unique, immersive way of working that combines the practical work of an undertaker with the ceremonial holding of a good priest.

Established in 1999

Rupert Callender

“ With your kindness, respect, professionalism and comforting advice, I was able to organise a dignified yet intimate goodbye for my dad with a strength he would have been proud of.”

Inspired by a chance encounter with the charity The Natural Death Centre, Rupert realised that being an undertaker was his vocation, and drawing on his experiences as a bereaved child, as well as running around the hospice where his mother worked, The Green Funeral Company’s radical ethos was formed almost instantly, and is constantly evolving ever since.

Rupert has also become an author and public speaker, editing the 5th edition of The Natural Death Handbook, and he and Claire Phillips have been written about in 9 non fiction books, and did a TED X talk together entitled, “Death, grief, ritual and Radical Funerals. Rupert started The Green Funeral Company in 1999, with no previous experience of the industry or family connections to the trade, but an awful lot of experience of bereavement at a young age, particularly the early death of his parents, and the unsatisfactory funerals that followed.

Rupert has written his own book Published the 15th September 2022.

What Remains? is a deeply moving book that will change the way readers think about life, death and the all-important end-of-life experience. As Ru memorably says, ‘Death has shown me unimaginable horror, the unbreakable core of love and courage that lies at the heart of what it means to be human.’

Established in 1999

Claire Burton

“ Profound: A word sometimes over used. But, with the upmost sincerity this is the word that best describes our experience with Rupert and Claire.

They were grounded, honest and utterly authentic. It is such a rare gift these days to be in an environment of such integrity. I appreciate how absolutely in tune with us they were, humble and insightful too.

Ru and Claire presented my sister with complete dignity and respect. They were remarkable to be around, most importantly knowing when to honour our silences too.

The empathy, kindness and purity of who Ru and Claire are at heart really resonates with me. Their ability to connect whole heartedly. To deliver a service that is far beyond any props or adornments. The truth, the honour, and compassion of Ru and Claire will stay with me throughout my lifetime. Thank you for all you have done, and the blessings you continue to be to all who come into contact with you."

Claire came to The Green Funeral Company in April 2021. Her background has been in Occupational Therapy and Home Care, supporting older people within the community.

These roles have given her an insight into the many faces of death and the experiences of those who approach it. Having attended many funerals held by Ru and Claire, and been inspired by their truth and ability to capture the true essence of the individual, she was honoured to join the company.

"Rupert and Claire helped me through the hardest day of my life with caring and empathy that I had not thought to find in a funeral company"

Claire and Rupert are leading the new way of dealing with death and I cannot recommend them highly enough.