Increasing numbers of families are choosing to keep things as simple as possible. Roger and Lyn Webber, 70 and 68, from Wellington in Somerset, opted for a cremation without an official ceremony when Roger's brother Martin died from a heart attack at the age of 79 in May.
Instead, a close-knit group of friends and family gathered on a hillside to share memories of Martin, who had been a farmer all his life, and scatter his ashes.
The couple say that the arrangements they made through direct cremation service Harbour cost around £1,300, while friends of theirs have spent as much as £6,000 on send-offs for their loved ones.
Roger, 70, a retired engineer, says: 'My brother was not into fuss, so we didn't want horse-drawn carriages or that type of thing. We prefer to do our grieving in private.'"
Undertaker Steven Cains believes there should be more competition in the industry. He told ITV News: "We've found cremation costs have risen faster than inflation over the last few years."
Steven Cains, founder of Harbour, a funeral company which organises direct cremations, and which obtained the data, said the cost of cremations had risen far beyond inflation.
“Given the lack of competition and the barriers to entry for new crematoria, more people are choosing direct cremation. Direct cremations account for one in 15 funerals, and we expect that figure to continue to rise as more people become disillusioned with expensive and hurried traditional funeral services.”
Harbour provided everything we could have hoped and for an incredibly affordable price. It was such a relief to have them working on our behalf.
Harbour made everything so much easier for me, I can't thank them enough. My father's ashes were delivered on time and the urn itself is beautiful.
Harbour made a sad process smooth and efficient and were considerate and efficient at all times. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.
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