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Alternative funerals: the company who can throw you a party instead of a wake

Alternative funerals: the company who can throw you a party instead of a wake

Love, Grief and Hope is features in the Evening Standard. 11/12/2023

When Dan Jones moved away from London last year, he knew his father Roger, who was living in a care home in the capital, was likely to die soon. Dan needed a funeral plan, and after years of his dad battling dementia in a care home, he didn’t want a gloomy affair. Instead, Dan dreamed of something people would look forward to, a celebration of Roger’s life. “Maybe selfishly I also wanted to have a nice time,” Dan says. Searching online, he came across alternative funeral directors Exit Here.

With Exit Here’s help, Dan got what he wanted. Instead of sitting in a faceless crematorium, Roger’s loved ones sipped champagne at Mortlake rowing club on the Thames, entertained by his beloved local jazz band. Everyone got a bespoke booklet full of references to Roger’s love of Dr Who and the supermarket Waitrose, and were even handed out “merch” – button badges with his favourite quotes on. Dan briefly considered hiring a TARDIS for the day, but decided it would upset older relatives. Everyone agreed the upbeat cheerful tone was just right. “Ultimately, it was an event that he would have loved to attend,” Dan says.

Read the full article here.

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Image by the Evening Standard

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 11 December 2023


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