The funeral industry is being put under the microscope due to the rising cost of even a basic funeral according to reports this month.
The cost of a funeral according to analysts has risen 3 times more than the rate of inflation in the last decade putting many families on low incomes under pressure to pay for all the aspects of laying loved ones to rest.
Sadly, there are cases where the deceased are held in mortuaries for months at a time while family members try to get enough money together to pay for a funeral. This leaves an unacceptable number of people in limbo at a time when grieving for a lost loved one is hard enough.
The average cost of a funeral in the UK is between £3000 and £5000 which is a substantial sum of money for someone on a low wage with little in the way of money put by.
Funeral directors have blamed local councils for increasing the cost while competition watchdogs are looking to see if lack of coemption in the industry is responsible for pushing up prices.
As with any other service, it is important to look around for the best price if possible, to ensure value for money and you are not paying more than you should be to give your loved on the send-off they deserve.
Death is an inevitability we all have to deal with and for those left behind it is always difficult to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. But in recent years we have seen funerals that celebrate the life of a person rather than make them a traditionally sombre occasion. So which approach is the right one?
Celebrating the life of a person at a funeral is not a new idea, in Ghana for example, the deceased have a special coffin made to celebrate a person’s interests or passions. Funerals are thus more light hearted than the traditional funerals we have here in the UK where people wear black and coffins are build to a standardised design.
The celebration funeral is perhaps a reaction to this type of funeral. Increasingly nowadays people want to express their individuality rather than end their days like everyone else with everyone surrounding a coffin dressed in black.
Then there are people who prefer the traditions such as TV presenter Colin Brazier, who asked for people to wear black at his wife’s funeral.
It is easy to empathise with both sides of the debate. Those with strong religious beliefs will naturally prefer that traditions are maintained and that fun funerals miss the point about the finality of death and the passage to the afterlife.
The Victorian Cemetery in Wrexham has over the centuries become a local landmark and thanks to the investment of £1.1m, its long term future is now secure and its unique history preserved for future generations to explore.
The site covers seven hectares making it one of the biggest graveyards in local area with a total of 37,000 graves. While wandering around graveyards is not everyone’s idea of a pleasant pastime, the cemetery designer hopes that it will be seen as a park as well as a place of rest.
The cemetery features some impressive monuments funded by wealthy Victorian industrialists as well as war graves providing a snapshot of the town’s history and development through the great transformations brought by the Industrial Revolution and two world wars.
The work has been funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and work included restoration of the chapels gates and railings of the Grade II listed site.
The project even included the appointment of a development officer who will be working on telling the stories of people buried there.
The restoration comes hot on the heels of calls from the Church in Wales that ore space is needed for burials with many cemeteries running out of plots.