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Direct cremations to become a ‘preferred choice’

According to the findings from the Big Future of Funerals survey, a quarter of respondents said they believed funerals were 'a waste of money'

Direct cremations are quickly becoming the preferred choice for “final farewells” as the traditional funeral ceremonies become less popular.

According to the findings from the Big Future of Funerals survey of more than 11,000 pure cremation plan holders, commissioned by Pure Cremation, 25% of respondents said they believed funerals were “a waste of money”.

The results reportedly mirror the findings of the recent Sun Life Cost of Dying Report 2021 which revealed a near five-fold rise in the popularity of direct cremation over the past year.
The Sun Life’s report revealed that direct cremation now represents 19% of all cremations and 14% of all funerals today.

This reflects a steep rise since 2019 when Sun Life’s findings revealed direct cremation accounted for just 3% of all funerals.

The survey found that 44% of respondents said the crematorium “feels like a production line” while a quarter (25.3%) said they find traditional services “rather impersonal’. Almost one in five people (18.9%) revealed they would “rather go straight to the wake”.

And just over a third of respondents (35%) said they felt the sight of the coffin at a traditional funeral was “too traumatic”.

Catherine Powell, who founded Pure Cremation with husband Bryan five years ago, said: “These results raise provocative questions about how much people value traditional, formal funerals. Interestingly, many of the sentiments expressed in the Big Future of Funerals Survey are also reflected in Sun Life’s Cost of Dying report.

“We’re seeing a definite paradigm shift. The lives, beliefs and spirit of the British people are fascinating, diverse and dynamic and as such they are now looking for alternatives which better reflect who they are. Many of our clients take out plans because they want to protect their families from financial and emotional distress.”

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