Thinking About Direct Cremation

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I’m not advocating any particular company but funerals have preoccupied me over the last year, and it struck me that, while controversial, this is quite an interesting idea.
It seems that almost one year on since the untimely death of David Bowie, a direct cremations specialist has seen a marked rise in demand for a direct cremation service, the singer’s chosen wish, rather than a conventional funeral.

The music icon had wanted to ‘go without any fuss’ with no funeral, family or friends present – a sentiment which Newbury based Pure Cremation has found is becoming more and more prevalent over the past twelve months. I don’t know if there are any local companies offering something similar, but from what the company suggests, I think not.
In the past year alone the number of direct cremations handled (managed) by Pure Cremation has increased by over 200% and the company expects this to rise by a further 300% in 2017.

Further research recently carried out by the Royal London National Funeral Index has revealed that 5% of consumers are now choosing to have a direct burial or cremation a figure which is believed will continue to rise.

A direct cremation is the simplest type of funeral in which the deceased is cremated in the days immediately following death, usually with no-one in attendance and with the ashes returned to the family afterwards. It is a service which is growing in popularity amongst people who want to leave their relatives and friends free to say their goodbyes at a time, place and in a style which is appropriate for them, rather than at a rushed time when the family is struggling to deal with their loss.

All the necessary doctors’ and crematoria fees, paperwork and transportation are taken care of as well as the choice of coffin and crematoria. Although there is no service or mourners at the funeral nor any chapel of rest facility, Catherine Powell, Pure Cremation’s Customer Experience Director, stresses that the same level of respect and dignity is given to the deceased as if there had been a traditional funeral.

Pure Cremation believes that the growth in the demand for a direct cremation is based on the belief that there must be a better alternative to the rigid funeral formula, even if families don’t always know what that alternative is. Cost too can at times be an influencing factor, but interestingly the company says that, in most cases, this is not the main consideration.

Catherine Powell said: “Losing a loved one is a highly emotional time for all concerned and relatives are often faced with a quandary in terms of what they feel they should do rather than what the deceased would have wanted them to do. For example, it may be that the person who has died always wanted a non-religious send-off. It could also be that they had outlived all their friends, or the immediate family is spread across the world making it very difficult for them to gather to pay their last respects within the time constraints imposed by a traditional funeral or simply that the deceased didn’t want any fuss, as in the case of David Bowie.”

“This decision making process of course becomes much easier if someone communicates their wish in advance, but for the majority this is not the case. What a direct cremation provides is a new degree of freedom on a number of levels. It provides time to enable loved ones to plan a celebration of life when it suits them as well as the option to invest the money they would have spent on a funeral in a different way to honour the memory of the deceased,” continued Catherine.

Pure Cremation was established by former funeral director Bryan Powell who has a pedigree in the funeral industry spanning nearly 30 years, together with his wife Catherine following a steady increase in enquiries for a direct cremation service. It is the UK’s only dedicated direct cremation provider which enables the team at Pure Cremation to deliver a level of personal service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pricing too is totally transparent with a simple fixed price cost structure to meet individual and geographic requirements.

covers the whole of England and Wales.


  • Phil Sutton says:

    When it’s my time to go I want my organs to be donated(if there’s any good ones left!),cremated,and my ashes put in a rocket and fired off the cliffs at Bude(we have no kids to grave visit etc.)

  • Steve Whitehouse says:

    Re Direct cremation I would respect the deceased wishes , but a lot of funeral services I have been to celebrate the life of the deceased, and I have always found the story of their lives most interesting and quite often surprising. I am not religious, but direct cremation does not sit comfortably with me.

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