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19th April 2021

Cannock Chase Crematorium Set to Open

A new, state of the art, crematorium opens on 19th April to allow families in Cannock and the surrounding area to stay close to home when they say their final goodbyes to a family member.

This is the second crematorium opened by Horizon Cremation. It has been built to provide an exceptional experience for bereaved families. The crematorium design and management has been driven by an understanding that the way we say goodbye has a significant impact on our ability to move on and live with grief and the funeral experience stays with families forever.

Set in a 12-acre site the crematorium combines three key considerations for bereaved families, an experienced team of compassionate people, thoughtful building design and beautiful landscaped gardens.

Summarising the philosophy of the team, Crematorium Manager Jo Walker said: “We offer a refreshingly different experience.   A funeral is, after all, a celebration of life, so families need to have comfort, space, time, the technology to bring a service to life and the detailed attention of a dedicated team who care. But we also recognise that some family relationships are complex, and it is important for us to respect all family choices”.

The light, spacious ceremony hall accommodates 140 mourners, with more who can watch the service from screens in the stylish waiting room. On opening the crematorium can welcome 30 mourners in line with government guidelines. The coffin sits front and centre with the backdrop of a large picture window overlooking the gardens. Delicate, translucent voiles gently wrap around the coffin at the end of the service or can remain open if the family chooses. A contemporary multi-media system allows families to make music choices, show photographs and play videos. For those unable to attend, the service can be live-streamed or recorded. There will be one hour between services so families can take their time.

Liam Bennett, Assistant Manager said: “We are a new generation of crematoria and we take our social responsibility very seriously. Local people have accommodated us building the facility for many months, now we want to give something back to the community”.

In recognition of the proud mining heritage of Cannock the waiting room features a display depicting the mining history of the area. The team will support the community’s economy by employing local people and source from neighbouring businesses where they can. All working practices will be managed to reduce the carbon footprint of the crematorium, solar panels and heat exchange greatly reduce energy usage. Wildlife will be encouraged through careful habitat management. Local charities will also benefit from the crematorium’s involvement with the industry wide metal recycling scheme. The first beneficiary of the funds raised will be South Staffordshire Cruse Bereavement Care, a charity supporting bereaved people in the Cannock, Tamworth, and Lichfield areas.

The landscaped gardens at the front of the building have been named The Fair Lady Memorial gardens after the name locals use to refer to the adjacent Coppice Colliery which closed in 1964. The gardens, offering attractive walks and spaces for quiet contemplation and remembering, are open 365 days a year for local people to enjoy.

Speaking of the gardens, Jo Walker said: We know that for many families choosing a lasting memorial tribute to someone special is an important way for them to remember and grieve and The Fair Lady Memorial Gardens offer such a different, natural space for a memorial.

The crematorium opens for services on Monday 19th April. Covid restrictions do not allow a public open day, this will be held later in the year when social distancing restrictions allow for a more relaxed day. Any local people who would like to look round the buildings are invited to email to make an appointment. Anyone wanting to visit the gardens and grounds can do so from Monday 19th April. The gardens are open from 9am to 8pm seven days a week through the summer months.

The first task for Jo and Liam is to appoint the rest of their team.   They have full time vacancies for a Cremator Technician/Gardener and an Administrator/Chapel Attendant.   Both jobs are advertised on the Cannock Chase Crematorium website.