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No Service Funerals in Essex

Many things have changed as a result of our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. The manner in which we live and work as we enter the middle years of the decade have been forever altered in both big and small ways, and this is also true of how we say goodbye. Having been steadily increasing in prevalence before the COVID lockdowns, necessity introduced many people to the concept of direct, ‘no-service’ funerals for the first time. 

In 2022, 18% of people opted for a no service funeral rather than a traditional funeral service. However, despite becoming a common choice, recent consumer research revealed that only one in five UK adults was confident that they fully understood what is meant by the term ‘no service funeral’.

What are no-service, pure and direct cremations?

Unattended, no-service, pure and direct cremation are all ways to describe the same thing. With this kind of funeral, the person who has died is taken straight to a crematorium without a formal ceremony and no attendees. The family and friends of that person are then free to arrange their own service, gathering or memorial. 

As local, family-run funeral directors, we have been caring for the bereaved for over sixty-five years. We are committed to providing no-service and direct funerals in Essex for our community when that’s what they request and need. What sets us apart, however, from national providers who specialise in no service funeral is that the personalised care that we bring to all our services is just as relevant in no-service funerals as it is for more traditional arrangements. 


A note to those planning their own funeral or arranging last wishes
It is not unusual for people to arrange a no service funeral for their own goodbye when organising a pre-paid funeral plan, or to request a no-service funeral in their Will or last wishes. While this is ultimately up to you, we would always recommend discussing your feelings and wishes with your family before making any formal arrangements.

While not true in every case, some people choose a no service funeral for themselves because they are conscious of making a fuss or worried about causing stress to their families. There is nothing wrong with wanting a quiet goodbye, but it may be the case that your family would like a ceremony and feel sad not to have the opportunity to hold a funeral service.
 
With the growth of bespoke and simple funerals, it is possible to create a funeral service that perfectly suits your own wishes while also fulfilling the emotional needs of the bereaved. This is why we would always recommend discussing your plans and wishes with your family, especially if you aren’t passionate about having a no service funeral but have assumed it would be easier on your loved ones (as this might not be the case). 

By having this conversation in advance, each person involved has the chance to understand everyone’s feelings on the matter, and make decisions accordingly. 

Serving our Essex community with no service funerals, tailored to suit you 

It can be easy to conclude that once you have chosen a no service funeral (or your loved one has requested a no service funeral for themselves) your options become very limited. With Harold Wood Funeral Services, however, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Unlike what may be the case with other providers, none of our services are “off the shelf”. Instead, our team takes a listening approach, using their decades of experience to provide the tailored and personalised care you need at what’s inevitably an emotional time. 

This means, with our caring and empathetic professionals, you can co-create the service which best serves you and your family’s needs, while also honouring the wishes of the deceased. This includes: 

  • Spending time with your loved one. It is very unlikely that national providers of direct funerals will be able to facilitate time spent with your loved one before they are sent to the crematorium. Our team, on the other hand, can make sure you have the option of visiting our chapel of rest so you can say a quiet goodbye. 
  • Personalisation: We ensure that the people who come to us for help organising a no service funeral have the opportunity to personalise the service should they wish to. This may be by allowing them time to decorate their loved one’s coffin, playing requested music, or having our team give requested readings as their loved one is laid to rest. 
  • Utmost respect and care: It is hugely important to us that “unattended” never means “unceremonious”. We treat every kind of service with careful respect, and care reverently for every person we are entrusted with in their final journey. 
  • Remote attendance: A person or family may prefer an unattended cremation, but still wish to be there in spirit. The Harold Wood Funeral team is always sympathetic to these needs, and are happy to video an unattended, no service funeral in real time for you, or take pictures of the service to send to the family, if this is something they want.
Organising a no-service funeral that works for you

We recently helped a family organise a no-service funeral that encompassed many personal elements. The family was welcomed to help wash and dress the person who had passed away, and could spend time with them in our chapel of rest. They organised a religious ceremony according to their beliefs and had the coffin resting at the place of worship, before being taken the following morning for a quiet direct cremation.

If you would like to find out more about how we can assist you with a no service funeral, a full traditional service or anything in between, please reach out and our team will be happy to chat.

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