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What a direct cremation provides is a new degree of freedom on a number of levels

Pure Cremation reports a tripling in demand in past 12 months

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.

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. In 2015 there were 529,655 deaths in the UK*.

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.

All the necessary doctors’ and crematoria fees, paperwork and transportation are taken care of as well as the choice of coffin and crematoria. It is a seamless service and one which is designed to provide total peace of mind. And 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.
Pure Cremation covers the whole of England and Wales.

• Office for National Statistics

Editor’s Note: For further information contact Celeste Clarke at Century PR on 024 7622 8881 or email

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