New Gedling crematorium service of dedication

words: Alan Jose FICCM, Westerleigh Group Ambassador

After a day of torrential rain the previous day, Thursday 18 May saw the sun shine brightly in Nottinghamshire for the service of dedication of the new Westerleigh Group Crematorium at Gedling.

Kevin Browne, the Crematorium Manager, welcomed the suffragan Bishop of Sherwood the Right Reverend Tony Porter, the Mayor of Gedling Borough Council, Sandra Barnes, local funeral directors and many other distinguished guests who had travelled from across the country to attend the service.

Prayers and readings were led by representatives of local churches – Canon Phillip Ziomek, Roman Catholic; the Rev Ron Kenyon, United Reformed and the Rev Moses Aygam, Methodist – and by Victoria Corder, a civil celebrant. Soloist Sarah Simmons sang Ave Maria and Fields of Gold beautifully, her voice filling the chapel.

In dedicating the crematorium, the Right Reverend Porter gave a moving address, reflecting on his own work with the bereaved over many years and the vital importance of treating all those who mourn with dignity and respect.

The Bishop reminded us all of how important the services that we in the burial and cremation sector provide, and that he was thankful for the professionalism of the staff that work in this area, often not realising just how much difference we make to people’s lives by doing our jobs well. He asked us all to ensure that we remembered the two “Gs”: grieving and gratitude. Families and individuals must have time to grieve and we must all be grateful for a life lived and be able to reflect on it at a funeral service no matter how many or few people are in attendance.

Councillor Sandra Barnes, who has been a great supporter of the new crematorium project, thanked Westerleigh for their investment in the area and said: “We are just so lucky to have this special place, because it is absolutely stunning and very tastefully done. We couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Richard Evans, Managing Director of the Westerleigh Group, thanked the Bishop for his address, the Mayor for her support and that of her council colleagues over several years and everyone for attending the service.

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