Pledge on Bristol and Somerset funerals during period of social distancing

PUBLISHED: 15:08 03 April 2020

Bristol Memorial Woodlands

Bristol Memorial Woodlands

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The owners of a woodland cemetery have pledged to ensure that dignified burials and memorial services are available for families in the greater Bristol area whatever restrictions on movement and gatherings are brought in by the government because of coronavirus.

Bristol Memorial Woodlands, four miles along the A38 from Filton, Bristol, have lowered their prices and are providing solutions for those who are no longer allowed to gather friends and family together as they would wish when a loved one dies.

The 100-acre burial ground is being transformed into a beautiful woodland with trees and wild flowers planted around where loved ones are laid to rest. The area is managed by a charitable trust and will be open forever for future generations to visit.

Founder of the Memorial Woodlands Chris Baker said: “Unlike cremation, woodland burials are good for the environment. The Memorial Woodlands are a place where people can always visit to remember their loved one.

“The current situation is difficult and we know that sadly the virus will lead to deaths in the Bristol area in addition to the usual numbers. There will be pressure on the funeral service and people will feel unable to travel to a funeral or gather all their loved ones around them in the next few weeks.

“We will be pleased to talk to families and work out a solution that works for them. One option is that we can carry out unattended or family only burials now and can arrange a memorial service later in the year. Unattended burials, also known as “Bowie Funerals” have become more popular after David Bowie chose that option.

“We have plenty of space and room for many people to gather and as long as that is permitted we will continue to hold services. We have changed our model to have more frequent funerals and our prices are now below the national average of a cremation.”

Bristol Memorial Woodlands has its own chapel, Georgian reception rooms and dedicated burial grounds for the Muslim and Jewish communities, whose religions favour burials.

At the moment funerals are still permitted for families only. Bristol Memorial Woodlands have introduced small scale graveside internments with people keeping two metres apart. Burials of this sort have been introduced for £2,495 for a simple graveside service with a small number of mourners and £1,495 for an unattended burial

Once restrictions are lifted families will be able to hold a remembrance service in the chapel, which can include a graveside ceremony and a wake in the Georgian reception rooms if required. These can be an hour, three hours or whole day events.

More information can be obtained by calling 01454 414999 or MW Funeral Directors Westbury-on-Trym, on 0117 9504100. You may wish to email: admin@memorialwoodlands.com or admin@mwfuneraldirectors.com or visit www.memorialwoodlands.com or www.mwfuneraldirectors.com

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