Only a minority of people now want a traditional religious funeral, with most preferring friends and family to have a get-together, or not wanting a fuss made at all, a new study suggests. The Co-op said its research revealed a “staggering shift” towards a less conventional style of funeral, with some unique ways of disposing of people’s remains. Some people want their ashes put inside a firework or the furnace of a steam train, or made into jewellery, paperweights or pendants, said the Co-op. Its survey of 4,000 adults and a number of Co-op funeral directors indicated that just one in 10 people wanted a traditional religious funeral.
The use of pallbearers to carry coffins has fallen in the last 5 years said the Co-op. Requests for ceremonies to take place away from churches have increased, with locations including a zoo, on a bus, on a golf course or in a teepee. Samantha Tyrer, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “The funeral sector is rapidly changing. Whilst many of us still feel uncomfortable talking about death, we’re clear on what we want, and in the majority of cases, it’s no longer a traditional funeral service. “More than ever before, we’re seeing requests for personalised ceremonies, whether that be on the 18th hole of a golf club, or having a pet dog present on the day.“
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