Visiting a New Crematorium.
The long awaited new Crematorium has opened at Fladbury, near Evesham. The pressure on the local Crematoriums has been huge, especially as Cheltenham has had lots of problems recently. This makes a huge impact on our clients and often causes long delays.
The Vale Crematorium is part of the Westerleigh Group. I have been asked to deliver a funeral there later in the month so arranged to pop in for a visit to acquaint myself with the layout.
The road outside has been reconfigured to make it easier to turn from the main road, and it was clearly signposted. The grounds have been laid out beautifully. They still look very raw, but I am looking forward to them maturing over the coming months and years.
The signage and flow of the road made arriving at the car park easy, and there were plenty of parking spaces.
The staff couldn't have welcomed me more warmly, and gave me a full tour of the Chapel and facilities. There is a lovely bright waiting room for those who arrive early, and of course the necessary toilet facilities.
The Chapel had such a lovely feel. The thick carpet, and plush seating, made it feel luxurious, whilst the blend of wood, brick and glass helped the space to be light and welcoming.
The catafalque (where the coffin is placed) is set back, and should you wish for the curtains to be closed then you have two options available. There is a set of voile curtains, which still allow you to see the coffin, but provide a gentle separation. The lighting behind dims as the voiles close. Alternatively you can opt for the main curtains, which close across the space so that the coffin can no longer be seen. Both sets of curtains run on a silent rail, and close very gently.
Families have the option for any flowers to be used, after the funeral, to decorate the Chapel. This is a lovely option as often the flowers are left outside to wilt, which always feels like such a waste.
When you leave the Chapel you pass a beautiful water feature, and enter a covered tunnel where the floral displays are arranged. This is a lovely space to greet each other after the service, and draws the mourners away from the Chapel. Access to the car park is readily available at the end of the area.
Unusually (in my experience) a Chapel attendant remains in the Chapel throughout the service, and operates the music (this is usually left to the Celebrant). An organ is also available if required, and the state of the art music system can provide any music requests.
My whole experience was such a positive one, and I very much look forward to delivering funerals at The Vale. I feel that the design and thought that has gone into creating this space will help to make my client's whole experience a little but easier.