Funeral business offering eco burials and woodland burials opens in Fareham

The high street isn't dead yet – as the opening of a funeral directors has show with a horse-drawn hearse procession through Fareham town centre.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 8:36 pm
Cutmore & Leadbetter Funeral Directors in Westbury Road, Fareham Picture: Sarah Standing (240519-78)
Cutmore & Leadbetter Funeral Directors in Westbury Road, Fareham Picture: Sarah Standing (240519-78)

Cutmore and Leadbetter was officially opened with Pamela Bryant, the Mayor of Fareham, taking part in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the premises on Westbury Road, Fareham on Friday. 

The business offers a range of services, including eco-friendly funerals featuring wicker coffins and woodland burials.  

Andrew Cutmore, the lead director of the business, said: ‘It’s been one of my passions in life to have my own funeral director business and it’s an honour to open here in Fareham.

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Funeral celebrant Chelsea Duke places a message on the memorial tree at Cutmore & Leadbetter Funeral Directors in Westbury Road, Fareham Picture: Sarah Standing (240519-106)

The owner of the new business has lived in Fareham for more than a decade, and worked as a funeral director for more than four decades. 

Andrew said that he hoped to show people ‘stuck in their ways’ what a modern funeral directors could be like.

He said: ‘We have had people asking why are we opening so close to another funeral directors, why is it so open and modern.

I know that I can serve the community.’ 

Paul Stibbards, the Vice President of the British Institute of Funeral Directors, who attended the opening, said it was ‘fantastic’ to see a funeral business open ‘in the heart of the community.’ 

He said: ‘It is important that a funeral director is well versed and up to date with how the industry is working, which Andrew is. 

‘People expect more from a funeral director – they want a more bespoke service. 

‘Eco burials are becoming more popular with families.’

Chelsea Duke, a funeral celebrant, who helps families write and deliver memorial speeches and eulogies, agreed that funeral services are ‘changing.’

She said: ‘Funerals have been changing over the last 10 to 15 years. 

‘They have become a lot less straight-laced – they are a lot more loose. 

‘With Andrew, it’s very obvious that he cares about each individual family that he looks after.’

A special service to open the business’s chapel of rest was led by the Rev Claire Simpson of Fareham Methodist Church. 

Guests were able to place messages on a dedicated Memorial Tree in the foyer of the premises.