ABOUT US

BEAUTIFUL FUNERALS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES

 

 

 

 

 

Angela has worked in the funeral business for over 14 years after working in education and the Arts. As both a Celebrant and Funeral Director she brings her experience as a teacher, singer, performer and therapist to every service and every family with compassion and creativity to write and deliver beautiful and thoughtful ceremonies. Angela has also been involved in the local community for over 20 years as a singing teacher at St. Laurence school.

 

As someone who was bereaved very young she understands how to make children a part of the funeral process so that they are included as much as they wish. Families are at the heart of the work and her empathy and sense of fun mean that people feel relaxed and easy about their choices.

 

Angela is happy to sing for you live and many people have commented that this has been the highlight of the service.

 

“Angela sang the most beautiful, heartfelt solo at the start of the service and we couldn’t have been more delighted. You made the funeral a smooth, kind and warm occasion. My mum would have been thrilled.”


Angela offers a huge wealth of experience in grief and bereavement and is always ready with good advice. She is fully committed to eco principles and is proud to be awarded National Green Funeral Director of the year and Runner up Celebrant of the year three times. Outside of work she enjoys yoga, meditation and walking and writes regularly for many publications, lectures and appears on the radio. Here is a link to her recent article on “COVID and Funerals” for Campfire Convention.

 

 

 

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OUR COMMITMENT

 

  • You can expect a dignified and professional service with utmost attention to your needs.
  • We will always work with you to bring down costs and are sensitive to financial constraints.
  • We will always be completely transparent about costs and all prices are on this site.
  • We will always try to minimise waste and environmental impact using local and independent outside providers
  • We will always create with you a fitting and personal ceremony and listen to your ideas
  • We carbon offset every funeral, support the Natural Death Centre, Fair Funerals and can help with DWP funeral grants.

‘GREENING UP' YOUR FUNERAL

 

There are many ways that we can lower our impact on the environment which is a growing concern for many people who are choosing a greener lifestyle. Death and funerals are one thing we all face and we are often asked by people who would like to make more informed choices about what to do.

 

BURIAL OR CREMATION?

 

A local natural burial ground is the most low impact option, but after that a local cremation is probably the next best thing.  Natural burial grounds revert the land to either meadowland for grazing or for woodland thus creating a natural habitat for wildlife, and memorialisation is not allowed. Some even bury at a lesser depth than 6 feet which is ideal since at 6 feet decay is anaerobic and methane is released into the atmosphere. Plastics, embalming, and varnished coffins are also forbidden so as to not to contaminate the earth. Willow and cardboard coffins are preferred which are biodegradable.

Burials at other sites such as council grounds are possibly the worst option. They use a lot of land which is becoming more and more expensive, and cash strapped councils are even resorting to converting allotments to burial grounds which does not seem like a good way forward. This high land value adds huge cost to burial as a funeral, and in cities, even more so. Add to that the fact that these grounds are highly maintained means that not much wildlife thrives. The land is then covered in stone and all coffin choices are permitted as is embalming which all pollute the earth. The land cannot be used for anything else either. Most churches grounds are now full so more land at the edges of towns and villages must be bought. Land is not an endless resource in our small and crowded country.

Cremation does not use any land and the gas used in the process is probably less than you think – approx. 245kg of carbon released into the atmosphere (according to the cds group) that equates to just 25 cars driving a 25 mile round trip.  Most crematoria use a clean air system so that pollution is as low as it can be.

 

COFFINS

 

The most eco friendly option is a shroud which can be placed on a runner board, but this is a step too far for most. Willow coffins that are made in this country are a good option as willow grows very quickly. in the West Country willow is grown on the levels and there are several good companies that make lovely coffins. They can be lined with unbleached calico which (again) is the best option. Cardboard is good for burial, but not so good for cremation as it leaves a lot of residue, and it also needs more gas for the cremation. Sustainable wood sources are next, but the substantial American type coffins and caskets are not a good choice at all. Big on resources, heavy on manufacture and not disposable in any way, we at Riverstone Funerals will not supply them.

 

CARBON FOOTPRINT

 

It is clear that having 100 cars drive to a woodland burial site over 25 miles away is not a low impact option. Far better to choose a local crematorium if being green is important, or have people car share. We at Riverstone have an electric ‘hearsette’ to use instead of the big black traditional hearse and many people like a less formal look. Using a specialised hearse such as a horse and carriage may be a lovely idea, but not if being low carbon is important to you. They come from a long way and are driven in a huge lorry with the usual journey for the deceased to the place of interment being not more than half a mile. They are also hugely expensive. Of course they are beautiful, and really important to some people but it is not a ‘green’ option.

 

Use a local florist and only flowers that are in season from this country, or better still have people bring flowers from their garden to decorate the space and the coffin. You can find ivy and greenery, or use other things to decorate and this makes for a much more personal and informal send off. We sometimes even use potted plants and people take them home afterwards to plant in the garden. Make a small memory card instead of having an Order of Service, or make sure it is made from recycled paper, or have none at all. Lots of our families have found great comfort in donating a good suit to charity rather than have it go up in smoke. We are really happy to provide simple unbleached shrouds for your loved ones and always make sure they are well cared for.

 

Basically, just use less stuff. Keep local and make what you can. there is huge merit in creating something for the day yourselves. We have lots of ideas and can advise.

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DIRECT CREMATION

WHAT IS DIRECT CREMATION?

 

 

 

Direct cremations are becoming an increasingly popular option for people who want a ‘no fuss’ funeral. This is where the person who has died is taken into our care, the direct cremation arranged and completed and the ashes are returned to you. There is no formal service and no mourners at a direct cremation*.

 

There are a number of reasons for choosing this option

 

  • For whatever reason, you prefer not to have a funeral service at all.
  • You wish to hold your own ‘celebration of life’ ceremony at another time, an alternative venue and in your own way. We can also advise on these options if this is your choice and can help with arrangements, including Celebrants, flowers and venues. This can be before or following a direct cremation.
  • The cost is considerably lower for a direct cremation

 

In choosing a direct cremation with us, you are guaranteed all the personal touches you will not find with a national provider, such as meeting us in person for the arrangements, the possibility of visits to your loved one in our chapel of rest and having flowers go with them in the hearse. We also offer funeral plans for direct cremations.

     

    DIRECT CREMATION vs. TRADITIONAL CREMATION

     

    A direct cremation is an alternative to a traditional funeral. The body is cremated without any service at the crematorium, and without mourners present. Direct cremation is an affordable and green option.

     

     

    DIRECT CREMATION COSTS

     

    These are considerably lower than costs for a more traditional funeral  but without compromising on care to the family or their loved one see here for the current prices

     

     

    A FUNERAL WITHOUT A SERVICE

     

     

    A Direct Cremation is carried out much the same as a standard cremation

     

    • We’ll bring your loved one into our care from anywhere at any time
    • The relevant paperwork must be filled out, signed and returned to us before a cremation date will be set
    • Our team are here to help you with any paperwork and to answer any questions you may have
    • The cremation is then usually held at a Crematorium with no one present*
    • After the cremation takes place, we can-deliver your loved one’s ashes to a local address of your choice, or we can scatter the ashes in the Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium, or we can hold onto your ashes until you have made a final choice
    • You can choose an urn from our range or if you prefer we will supply a dignified and bio-degradable urn.

     

    *Attending:

    We do offer the option to attend for an extra charge of £300. This involves 10 minutes for a small number of people to say goodbye on a day that suits you and includes your choice of music. This would only be available at Mendip (Shepton Mallet) or Kingsdown (Swindon) crematoriums at around 9am. 

     

     

    In the case of unattended direct cremation we partner up with go simply funeral directors.

     

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