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Aspen Chapel reopens following £250,000 refurbishment

The Aspen Chapel at the North Devon Crematorium has been reopened following the completion of a refurbishment project.

Work began in January to replace and refurbish every element of the chapel, bringing it in line with the facilities in the Rowan chapel, which was built in 2016.

The chapel, which has remained largely unchanged since it opened over 50 years ago, has new windows, flooring, furniture, technology and improved disabled access. Its original features, such as the committal doors and catafalque, where the coffin is placed have also been refurbished.

The Aspen chapel aims to offer mourners more intimate surroundings for small services compared with the larger Rowan chapel, with seating for up to 66 people. This upgrade includes the capabilities if digitally downloaded music, video tribute facilities, webcasting and recording as well as the option to have music played by an organist.

Crematorium manager, Mark Drummond, said: “I am delighted with the improved facilities and the way that some original features have been retained whilst giving a completely fresh feel and look to the chapel. The contractor, Westcountry Maintenance, met a tight schedule whilst displaying great professionalism and sensitivity for the site.

“The refurbishment of the original features was carried out to a superb standard by local craftsmen, Francis Hookway and Simon Westlake and beautiful stained glass panels were made by Stacey Beaumont from Bude. The use of South West based companies was important to both North Devon and Torridge Councils who oversee the crematorium’s operations.”

He added: “Although the chapel reopened on 20 March, we hope to have a dedication service later on to officially mark the completion of the refurbishment and to celebrate the wonderful facilities we are able to provide here in northern Devon.”

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