Home / In the news / Theos in the media

John Humphrys – It’s your funeral… Or is it?

John Humphrys – It’s your funeral… Or is it?

Jon Humphrys comments on findings from Theos report ‘Love, Grief and Hope’ for YouGov. 01/12/2023

This may be the first time in all the years I’ve been writing this column that I have begun by stating my own view on my chosen subject. Then again, it’s also the first column in which I have addressed the question of my own death. Or, to be more precise, my own funeral. And that’s because a survey by the religious think tank Theos has just found that most of us don’t want one. Do You?

Maybe I should be a little more precise. What do we mean by a “funeral”. At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re all going to die and something must be done to deal with our remains. I want mine to be buried in a cardboard coffin in the small woodland I own in west Wales. I rather hope my children and grandchildren will be there and that my son will play a little Bach on his cello and my daughter will read a poem. There will be no religious element whatsoever.

Read the full article here.


Interested in this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e–newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Supporter Programme to find out how you can help our work.

Image by YouGov

Madeleine Pennington

Madeleine Pennington

Madeleine is Head of Research at Theos. She holds a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, and previously worked as a research scholar at a retreat and education centre in Philadelphia. She is the author of ‘The Christian Quaker: George Keith and the Keithian Controversy’ (Brill: 2019), ‘Quakers, Christ and the Enlightenment’ (OUP, 2021), ‘The Church and Social Cohesion: Connecting Communities and Serving People’ (Theos, 2020), and ‘Cohesive Societies: Faith and Belief’ (British Academy, 2020). Outside of Theos, she sits on the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations.

Watch, listen to or read more from Madeleine Pennington

Posted 1 December 2023


See all

In the news

See all


See all

Get regular email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once or twice a month.

Thank you for signing up.