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.
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.
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.