Vicar’s plea for green funerals

According to the BBC, an eco-friendly vicar is urging his congregation to think green when their time comes to meet their maker.

The Reverend Sam Randell, who is vicar at St John’s Church, Hurst Green, Lancashire, believes more people should take advantage of environmentally-friendly coffins.

Mr. Randell, who made the call to his flock to mark Creation Sunday, said many undertakers provided the service and added the future of funerals could lie in biodegradable coffins.

“It would be possible if more did it, but unfortunately they do not,” he said.

There are a number of options for eco-friendly funerals, with one of the most popular being the use of a cocoon casket at crematoriums.

The Cocoon System, developed by UK firm Green Undertakings, uses a biodegradable casket within a hardwood cocoon.

Just before the coffin is put into the furnace, the cardboard interior, containing the body, is removed from the hardwood cocoon, which is then re-used.

Green Undertakings say the system provides dignity in death and can also save families hundreds of pounds, as well as helping the environment.

Other environmentally-friendly coffin options exist, the cheapest being flatpack cardboard coffins, which can cost as little as £35. 

First-ever UK coffin exhibition opens

The BBC reports coffins and other items associated with funerals go on display this weekend at the first ever exhibition of its kind held in the UK.

Instead of paintings or artefacts, anyone visiting Belsay Hall in Northumberland will be able to see an unusual exhibition aimed at breaking down the taboo of bereavement. Organisers have gathered together a varied range of coffins and caskets, including a coffin shaped like the Angel of the North and another shaped like a canal barge.

The exhibition, called Handle with Care, will also feature a coffin which was specially built for a ski enthusiast.

Modes of transport used at funerals through the ages will form another part of the display, with several hearses, a Victorian coach and horses, and a motorcycle and sidecar hearse on display.

And a room has been set aside for “coffin preparation”, where visitors can experience coffins being fitted and trimmed.

The British Institute of Funeral Directors, who are joint organisers with English Heritage, says it hopes to give an insight into the vast array of coffins and caskets available today and to demonstrate the revival of traditional materials and crafts.