Held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the event attracted more than 100 delegates from a wide range of organisations, including funeral directors, crematorium staff, hospital bereavement officers, charity staff, registrars, celebrants, faith representatives, hospice staff and many other groups.
Roger Gale, the charity’s CEO, said: “We live in a diverse society represented by many cultures and religious beliefs. Considering different approaches to death can enrich our own perspectives and allow those in the industry to understand and be sympathetic to families from other cultures.
“We are very grateful to the wonderful speakers who gave such an insight into death and funerals in a wide range of religions and cultures. Many of those attending told us it was an enlightening experience and, judging by the number of questions being asked of the different speakers, it was an extremely valuable experience.”
The Revd. Canon Dr Sandra Millar, Head of Projects and Developments at the Archbishops’ Council at the Church of England, talked about the key themes that underpin all Christian funerals, while Mohamed Omer, a trustee at the Garden of Peace Cemetery in East London, explained the issues that arise around Muslim death and funerals.
The Revd. Lorraine Munn gave an insight into the funeral customs of the Druids and talked more widely about Druidry, and Dr Rami Seth MBE gave an informative talk about the processes and rituals surrounding Hindu funerals.
Representing the Sikhi faith, Simrat Kaur gave a powerful and sincere look at death and funerals in Sikhi, and Elizabeth Pavelin gave a valuable insight into Buddhist teaching and funerals.
In addition, a number of organisations took exhibition stands, including Child Bereavement UK, Grief Recovery, Civil Ceremonies, Colourful Coffins and Inspired Goodbyes.
The National Memorial Arboretum was the perfect setting for the event as it provides a tribute to servicemen and women from different countries and cultures around the world.
For more information about the event and to find out more about the presentations, please visit www.childfuneralcharity.org.uk