Father John Oakes, retired vicar of St Martin’s Church, Wolverhampton, said prayers for the many families who visited the funeral home in sorrow and those who worked there supporting them.
He also blessed the building, including the chapel of rest, where he especially remembered babies who ‘never got to come home’ and their mothers. The premises in Castle Street were rededicated following a refurbishment carried out in 2017 to improve the layout and facilities.
Jon Magee, minister of Coseley Providence Baptist Church, joined in the prayers and spoke of being reminded of a place ‘where we can discover comfort.’
The ceremony took place in the newly redecorated chapel of rest, with the packed gathering saying the Lord’s Prayer together.
A plaque marking the event was also unveiled, watched by guests including Coseley East Councillor and former Mayor of Dudley Melvyn Mottram.
Amanda Woodward, general manager of the funeral home, and her deputy Glen Speak were also present.
Dawn Baggott, from Tipton, who lost her mother, Ivy Cole, aged 89, in January 2017, praised the funeral staff for their support: “It helps to come along to a memorial like this. My mother’s funeral was arranged through Halliwell and she was in the chapel of rest here. They are really wonderful and nothing is too much trouble for them.”
Heather Glass was remembering her cousin Paul Oakley, who died of a heart attack at the age of 64, two days before he was due to retire.
“I found some comfort from coming along to this service. Everyone here was so helpful when he died and you can phone them at any time.”
Halliwell Coseley funeral director Yvonne Harper, who organised the dedication service, said: “All the families who attended have lost someone close in the past year. It’s part of the grieving process for them.”