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Latest News

Funeral Costs increase over 50%

Wells Funeral Services

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The latest figures from the Sun Life Cost of Dying Report 2018 show that the average cost of a funeral in the UK has soared to £4,271.

According to our Sun Life’s 2018 Cost of Dying research, the average cost of a funeral in the UK now stands at £4,271. They’ve been doing this research for the last 15 years and, since we started, we’ve seen a steady rise in costs.

This year, we’ve also calculated that the total cost of dying is at an all-time high of £9,204 and this figure is only set to grow.


Considering your own death...

Wells Funeral Services

The average British person contemplates their own mortality for more than half a century, according to Co-op’s ‘biggest ever’ survey into death, dying and bereavement.

The funeral provider’s research revealed that age 26 is when Brits first consider their own death, with a third of all adults doing so at least once a week. With life expectancy now topping 80, this means people on average are spending 55 years having deadly thoughts. Despite thinking about death, the majority 41 percent of people have not yet planned for the inevitable.

Women are more likely than men to think about their own mortality, with 98 percent of women admitting this is the case, versus just 90 percent of men.

The findings, released in Co-op’s broader report ‘Making Peace With Death’, highlighted that further action may be needed to tackle the nation’s last taboo.

The research uncovered attitudes towards mortality, bereavement and the way in which people plan ahead for death. With 30,000 taking part, this is the first time national attitudes towards death have been looked at on such a scale.

Although 91 percent have thought about their own mortality, it’s not something Brits will openly talk about. Findings highlighted that terrorism, celebrity deaths and external news reports were amongst the top 10 reasons for people to consider their own mortality:

  • The death of a family member (28 percent)

  • The loss of a friend (15 percent)

  • Reaching a milestone age (22 percent)

  • Making my own will (14 percent)

  • A medical diagnosis – someone I know (17 percent)

  • Terrorism (13 percent)

  • News reports of death (16 percent)

  • Hearing about a celebrity dying (12 percent)

  • A medical diagnosis – myself (15 percent)

  • The death of an acquaintance (10 percent)

David Collingwood, director of funerals for Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Our survey shows that whilst mortality is something we often think about, it’s not something we’re willing to open up and talk about. With over 18 million people uncomfortable talking about death, many of us are having those conversations because we feel they are too difficult to broach or we don’t want to upset people.

“The reality of it is, if we start to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement now, it’ll remove some of the emotional burden for our loved ones further down the line.”

Fancy a fancy coffin? Paa Joe's your man..!

Wells Funeral Services

Want to be buried in a giant wooden coffin that looks like an aeroplane? Or how about a Coke bottle?

Coffin artist Paa Joe is the man who can make that happen. He crafts fantasy wood "proverb coffins" (known as as abebuu adekai in his home country of Ghana) out of his workshop. He's considered the grandfather of the fantasy coffin trade and his work is exhibited in museums worldwide. But hard times fell on his business.

Now a wonderful documentary has been made that tells the story of how Paa Joe and his son turned the business’s failing fortunes around. Paa Joe & The Lion is the 2017 film that tells the story of how he and his son are rebuilding the family legacy together. It's now available to stream on Amazon. Have a look at the trailer at the bottom of this post; it's really inspiring!

And to inspire you further, here are some of Paa Joe’s creations. What would your dream coffin be?!

Why can't we let funerals be sad?

Iain MacLeod-Jones


In the modern age, many funerals put an emphasis on celebrating a life lived rather than mourning its loss. There is a strong argument saying that there is nothing wrong with this and we certainly agree, but is this push to celebrate making it less acceptable for a funeral to be a sad event?

Read more here...

Poorest families 'being barred from funerals of relatives'

Wells Funeral Services


From The Independent

Some of the UK’s poorest people are being barred from attending the funerals of loved ones as part of council cost-cutting, it has been claimed.

Families who must reportedly rely on publicly-funded funerals are told they cannot be at the service.

An official at Bracknell Forest Council, in Berkshire, was recorded telling undercover reporters that relatives would not even be told when the burial or cremation was taking place, according to The Sunday Times

“There’s no attendees, no keeping of the ashes,” the official is reported to have said. “Nobody’s invited, you don’t have any say at all.”

Read more here

A Short History of Funerals in Britain

Wells Funeral Services

Now here's a fascinating article! The modern funeral is far different then that of ancient tradition. Many of the funeral rites practised by our ancestors have been lost in the mists of time, but occasionally we can catch a glimpse of how our modern funeral traditions developed. 



Woodland Burial Site to Open in Bristol

Wells Funeral Services


A new natural burial woodland - where people can be laid to rest wrapped in shrouds under a canopy of trees – is to open in Bristol.

The new burial ground, at Arnos Vale Cemetery, is the first of its kind in the city and is due to open on 2 April. Work has been carried out during the winter by contractors and volunteers to create a 200 metre path which has opened up an area of previously unmanaged woodland

The work has created space for up to 400 new plots, nestled in the woodland under a canopy of trees.

Read more on the Bristol Post website by clicking here.

Talk about death while you're still healthy!

Wells Funeral Services

Do you know what you want when you die? Do you know how you want to be remembered? In a candid, heartfelt talk about a subject most of us would rather not discuss, in this fascinating TED talk, Michelle Knox asks each of us to reflect on our core values around death and share them with our loved ones, so they can make informed decisions without fear of having failed to honor our legacies. "Life would be a lot easier to live if we talked about death now," Knox says. "We need to discuss these issues when we are fit and healthy so we can take the emotion out of it -- and then we can learn not just what is important, but why it's important."

Watch this important talk here: 

Will Rihanna make an appearance at your funeral?!

Wells Funeral Services

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The music chosen for funerals is undergoing a general change in trend, according to Co-op Funeralcare’s Funeral Music Chart. The research was conducted using its funeral arrangers and directors and is based on 30,000 funerals.

The biggest trend in the data is the move towards non-religious music, with 54% of funeral directors saying that hymns are declining in popularity, while pop has now become the most request music genre at services. 

Wiz Khalifa, Rihanna and Adele are all new entrants to the contemporary pop category, though across all genres Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ is the most popular choice. Coronation Street rather depressingly is the TV theme played most at funerals, though a secondary poll revealed that Game of Thrones one might soon make an appearance in the chart.

The Top 10 were:

1    My Way - Frank Sinatra

2   Time to say goodbye - Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

3   Over the rainbow - Eva Cassidy

4   Wind beneath my wings - Bette Midler

5   The Lord is my shepherd - Psalm 23 / Crimond

6   We’ll meet again - Vera Lynn

7   All things bright and beautiful - Traditional

8   Always look on the bright side of life - Monty Python 

9   Abide with me - Traditional

10   Unforgettable - Nat King Cole

Source: The Independent


Don't Forget to Tell Your Loved Ones About Your Funeral Plan

Iain MacLeod-Jones

Older people are increasingly saving their loved ones from bearing the cost of a funeral by paying in advance. But a desire not to talk about death, and in some cases dementia, means many families are left with little detail of what has been organised and paid for.

The funeral plan regulator is dealing with hundreds of cases a year, helping grieving families to trace pre-paid funerals. Meanwhile, the Alzheimer's Society says more than one million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2021, with many facing difficulties conducting their finances successfully.

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Costs are rising but, it seems, most people are unaware of that happening and few want to think about it. A survey by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), which was set up by the pre-paid funeral industry to regulate the sector, found that only 14% of those asked could give an accurate estimate of the cost of a funeral.

The sector - serving people who wish to pay for their funeral in advance - is growing, but the FPA says one major problem is that families are unaware of the plans put in place by their late relatives. It takes on about eight to 10 cases every week, aiming to trace the details of funeral plans for grieving families.

Families who find details of a funeral plan after they have made alternative arrangements may often, but not always, be given a refund. An administration fee - which can be up to £400 - may be deducted.

So, when taking out a Funeral Plan, make sure you tell your loved ones about it! Here at Wells Funeral Services we can help you with that, ensuring that you have all the necessary details that you need to pass on to your family.

Tips when paying for a funeral in advance:

  • Tell your family about a funeral plan, or other financial plans to pay the costs on death
  • Ask questions so you and your family fully understand what is paid for and what is not covered
  • Keep the paperwork with other important documents so it is easy for your family to find
  • Do not pay for a funeral plan in cash as there is less of a record of payment
  • When moving house, inform your funeral plan provider. The cost may be different in the area you move to.

Source: BBC News

A New Business With Five Decades of Experience!

Iain MacLeod-Jones

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At Wells Funeral Services we have completed our first year of trading and can now say to members of the community that the newest funeral service in the city that has the longest experience of all Funeral Directors in the area!

Our colleague, Mr Nicholas Maggs, who is party to each and every one of our funeral services, has almost 50 years’ experience in the funeral business. So whilst we are the newest funeral service business, we have the most experienced man in the district of Mendip working with us! For a truly competitive and first class service talk to Wells Funeral Services; you won't be disappointed!

We are happy to help families to deliver a credible, practical, professional and reliable service with our Chapel of Rest and free parking at our premises. We use a Jaguar hearse and have a limousine too. We like to think of ourselves as the friendly face of funeral services, you will be safe in our hands. 

We are now able to offer a credit facility 12 months interest fee, 24, 36 months with a modest interest rate of just 10% we hope this will help families in there hour of need. Please explore our website for further information