COFFIN NO LONGER CENTRE-STAGE AT 1 IN 5 FUNERALS
Direct cremation has become a mainstream choice far more quickly that could have been predicted
The recent SunLife Cost of Dying Report 20231 demonstrates that the Great British Funeral is rapidly making way for a new style of send-off.
Direct cremation is the simplest form of cremation without any ceremony or mourners at the crematorium. In just 4 years the number of bereaved families opting for this style of cremation has increased nearly 1000%, from 2% of all funerals in 2018 to 18% last year, fuelled by the combination of flexibility as well as an attractive low cost.
The SunLife research indicates why this seismic shift is underway, reporting that attitudes are changing, with funerals seen as a Celebration of Life (49% or respondents), a greater emphasis on the ashes’ resting place and direct cremation is now firmly established as a lifestyle choice.
This reflects the trend seen by Pure Cremation the UK’s leading independent provider of direct cremation, which cared for more than 12,000 families in 2022.
Catherine Powell, co-founder of Pure Cremation, commented, “We’ve seen steady growth in demand for our service, and this research confirms that in 2022 alone more than 100,000 families across the UK moved away from having that ultimate symbol of death, the coffin, as the focal point for farewells.”
She added, “A large proportion of our reviewers tell us that their positive experience has inspired them to choose a Pure Cremation for themselves as well as recommending us to others. This will inevitably lead to more people embracing a new freedom to hold a farewell in their ideal location, often somewhere of personal significance, because now the focus is on the life lived, not the death.”
Direct cremation has become a mainstream choice far more quickly that could have been predicted, and while its adoption was accelerated by the pandemic, only Northern Ireland appears to be seeing a return to more traditional services.
It’s easy to see the appeal. A direct cremation deals with the practicalities at a sensible price, allowing the bereaved to spend more on the bit that matters to them – getting together to create a more personal send-off in a location that holds happy memories.
1Funeral Costs in the UK|Cost of Dying 2023|SunLife
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