Midlands focus on the changing face of British funerals

Midlands Co-op Funeral Services in Oakham and in Melton, Leicestershire, opened their doors to the public and held a week-long coffin exhibition in an attempt to dispel any...

Staff were on hand to offer advice on all aspects of funeral arranging including floral and masonry requirements, funeral bonds and probate. Both funeral homes also organised a charity coffee morning plus a competition to guess the number of balloons placed in one of their limousines in aid of Midlands Co-op’s corporate charity, the British Heart Foundation.

Six coffins and four ashes caskets were on display from specialist company, Colourful Coffins, who produce a range of bespoke and custom made designs. Included in the exhibition were coffins and caskets depicting images of British birds, aeroplanes, landscapes, the Union flag, the Eiffel Tower, roses, an African sunset and a juke box.

A cardboard coffin was also on display. Colourful Coffins has made a commitment to Climate Care, the body that helps individuals and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. For every coffin sold, a payment is made to Climate Care and Colourful Coffins also plants a tree in its own six-acre woodland area.

Mary Tomes, Managing Director of Colourful Coffins, said: “The range of coffins available today is varied in comparison with just a few years ago. Of course the traditional range remains a firm choice for many, but with the increased popularity of personalised funerals, requests for bespoke coffins reflecting a loved-one’s hobbies and interests are now widely available.

“I’m sure visitors to the Midlands Co-op exhibitions were quite amazed by what they saw and hopefully it demonstrates how the funeral profession is progressing in response to families’ requests.”

Martyn Stokes, Funeral Director from Midlands Co-op Funeral Services in Melton, said: “This is the first time that we have ever done anything like this. For the majority of people their only contact with funeral directors is when they find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to arrange a funeral, and that can be quite a daunting experience mixed with dread and uncertainty.

“We hope that the events not only introduced people to the latest developments in funeral arranging but also reassured them that funeral directors are approachable human beings and funeral homes are not places to be feared.”

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