Darlington funeral home Saint and Forster has become the sole County Durham outfit to be named in the Good Funeral Guide.
The listing for Saint and Forster in the 2012 edition states: “We like their commitment to transparent, ethical pricing and note that they offer very good value for money. They will bring a very personal touch to even the simplest funeral. Saint and Forster is both wholehearted and highly professional. This is a funeral home with a very distinct personality.”
Keith Munt, director of Saint and Forster, pointed out that funeral directors cannot sponsor or buy a place in the guide. He said: “You have to be recommended and then go through a vigorous assessment and screening process. I was interviewed for a total of about three hours by Charles Cowling before being told that we would be included in the Guide.”
Charles Cowling, author of the Guide said: “To almost anyone charged with the task of arranging a funeral, choosing a funeral director can be very difficult because they all look pretty much the same. But they’re not. Some, a precious few, are truly outstanding, and Saint and Forster is one of them.
“[The guide] recommends only those funeral directors who meet the most stringent criteria. People want to do their very best for their loved ones when they die. They deserve the very best funeral director.”
The selection criteria for the guide include:
- Evidence of dedication, emotional intelligence and a pleasing personality.
- The desire to work collaboratively with clients and offer flexibility.
- Willingness to make as much time as the client needs.
- Absence of self-importance. Awareness that the funeral belongs to the client, not to the funeral director.
- Highly personal service. No delegation to funeral arrangers. No appointment of a stranger on the day to conduct the funeral.
- Awareness of trends in client expectations and evidence of a desire to embrace change.