The changing face of funerals

Members and leaders of the Institute of Civil Funerals (IoCF) enjoyed a thought-provoking day at this year’s seminar and AGM. The theme of the conference was: ‘The changing face of funerals and funeral celebrancy’.

The seminar, held in Bournville in Birmingham, looked at the impact of digital technology, the evolution of the funeral system and how the arrival of direct cremation will impact on IoCF members.

The day was started by IoCF Chairman Christine Ogden, Dip CFC, and with seminar sessions led by Tony Walter, Honorary Professor, University of Bath, the world’s only professor of death studies, Anne Barber, IoCF President, and James Norris, a lecturer in digital and social media at UCL and founder of the Digital Legacy Association and the website,

The seminar sessions raised some interesting questions and examined how direct cremation could be the catalyst to change in the way funerals are considered and arranged. Members were assured that, in its role of promoting greater choice to families when arranging funerals, the Institute will be at the forefront of working with all funeral arrangers and families alike to meet the exciting innovations and challenges that clearly lie ahead.

The afternoon focused on the AGM with the Chairman reiterating that the past 12 months have proved to be a time of change throughout the profession and the statistics showed growth financially, in membership numbers and in the rapid rise, year on year, in the number of civil ceremonies led by members.

In a final message to members, IoCF Chairman Christine said that she was leaving office knowing that the Institute is going from strength to strength and will always represent all that is professional, reliable and up to date in the changing world of funerals.

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