A good funeral is created with the belief that it honours the person who has died but is also for the benefit of the living.
Done well it is an important part of the healing process.
Walking you through
We are here to help guide and support you to arrange the right funeral for the person who has died, one that is in keeping with who they were. One that holds them at its heart.
What you might think you want at the start of the process can change, so we encourage families to slow things down.
We are here to discuss all options for the funeral, to help with the practicalities and paperwork and to make it happen.
Together we can help you to create the funeral that serves you all best, based on your beliefs and wishes. It can include elements of religion such as prayers and hymns or it can be totally non-religious.
We know it can be daunting. Where to start? Questions such as, where it will be? Who will hold the space? Will there be music? Who will speak? Will there be an order of service? Flowers?
We are here to help answer all these and aim to ease any worry.
There are no rules.
We want to give families the freedom to do whatever feels right.
We understand that crematoriums can feel impersonal and intimidating and have a "conveyor belt" reputation, but this need not be the case. If you wish to hold the ceremony at the crematorium we have experience with all of them in the West Country and can help you to reclaim this space and create a meaningful and individual ceremony.
Alternatively, the ceremony could be held elsewhere with an attended, or non-attended, cremation afterwards. This option allows more time to be given to the ceremony and can also permit greater creativity, allowing the space to be made more personal. Some natural burial sites let this take place in their grounds, if an ashes plot is purchased for their internment later.
Or, there is Direct Cremation, for those who do not wish to have anyone in attendance at the crematorium. This may be because a memorial or celebration is planned at a later date.
Paperwork will need completing for the crematorium and, by law, a doctor must confirm cause of death. There is a doctor’s fee of £82 for this confirmation. This is waived if the coroner is involved.Crematoriums and costs
As well as traditional religious burials in a churchyard or cemetery, we can arrange for a natural burial. Natural burials are increasingly popular and we have strong connections with the growing number of sites in the Cornwall and Devon
They offer an ecological alternative to traditional burials. The land is managed with the environment in mind and eventually, the land reverts back to woodland or meadows. Sometimes a tree is planted with a plaque, and environmentally friendly coffins made from materials such as bamboo, wicker or cardboard are used.
We can also arrange for burials on private land.Natural burial grounds and costs
As undertakers, the service we provide always includes the following:
- An initial conversation, either in person, over the phone, or by video call to discuss the situation, your options, and to work out how we can support you.
- The collection of the person from anywhere in Devon or Cornwall.
- The gentle and sensitive care of the person who has died, including washing and dressing them and laying them out in any chosen clothes.
- All funeral administration, practical arrangements and paperwork.
- Our care, attention, advice and continued support throughout the arrangements, whether this takes a week, four weeks or more.
- Transportation of the person to the funeral.
- Ourselves on the day.
We deliberately do not use pall bearers. Carrying and lowering the coffin, or lifting it onto the catafalque, is something we do together, as we believe this helps to physically embody the reality of what is happening.
- If the funeral is not a direct cremation, then we also provide support to create the ceremony and to choose individual aspects within this.
- We will be here for you, to hear your stories, discuss the person who has died, get to know them and you.
- We also have chapel of rest at our offices in Dartington, where you can spend time with the person, if you choose too.
Please note, we do not embalm as it is unnecessary and environmentally damaging.
The healing power of words.
“After a couple of meetings, both in my own home, Rupert created a service that was perfect. With input from myself and with passages that my wife had picked for herself, he combined Buddhist, shamanic and even Methodist writings and ideas into a seamless service. In fact, I have had many people ask me how long Rupert had been a friend of the family and they were all, without exception amazed to find out that we had only met a few days previously. He managed to capture my wife so well, even things we hadn’t talked about that it was a truly personal and special ceremony in a very beautiful setting.”
The Green Funeral Company can offer the option of having us hold the ceremony, with Rupert as Celebrant.
If you choose to use us as your celebrants then we will work with you further to truly learn about the person. To go deeper than their biography and to acknowledge the complexity of your combined lives, their loves, the highs and the lows. Recognising the need for understanding and forgiveness, and the healing power of words.
Alternatively, you can appoint another celebrant, or use a person from your faith. Or if you, or someone you know, feels capable of leading the funeral service, you can hold the space yourselves. Whatever your wishes are, we are happy to help.
Regardless of whether of not you use Rupert, we will still be with you every step of the way on the day of the funeral.
Creating the funeral to honour your loss
Once you have decided if it is to be a cremation or a burial, who will be holding the ceremony, what is to be said and where it will be, there are a number of other choices to be made.
Some people come with a clear plan and others need a little guidance, so please talk to us about your thoughts and wishes.
Coffins and Urns
We have a range of environmentally friendly coffins and beautiful biodegradable urns.
We also sell these independently of our funeral services.
Hearses and transportation
We use an estate car as our hearse, but if you wish to have something as an alternative, we would be able to arrange this for you.
Talk to us about any music you may wish to have played and we will try our best to locate this for you.
Order of Service
You may wish to have an order of service. We have examples of previous designs and can supply details of stationers who can print them for you.
We have connections with many florists and can help advise, especially if there is a wish to use flowers sympathetic to the natural, green ideal. View our coffin options
“ 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.”
We are open and honest about our pricing.
Learn about our pricing
Natural Burials at Sharpham Meadow
We are very proud to have visioned and set up this incredible site at the invitation of the Sharpham Trust.
It is open to you, regardless of your faith or local residency, whether you are using a funeral director or not, having a religious or secular ceremony, or none at all.
Contact us for more information