Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation of pre-paid funeral plans – an update as at 21 February 2022 There is increasing media interest in the funeral planning industry as it moves towards FCA regulation. Our funeral plan provider, Ecclesiastical Planning Services, has applied for authorisation by the FCA and remains positive that it will be authorised from 29 July 2022 when the new regulation becomes effective. Ecclesiastical is also supporting a number of other funeral plan providers that do not intend to become authorised by the FCA and wish to make suitable arrangements for their existing funeral plans. We can confirm that Ecclesiastical’s pre-payment funds remain safe and secure, and we urge customers not to be concerned at this early stage. We will provide a further update in due course.
Q. Why a funeral director? There are many jobs out there what brought you to this one?
A. I started of as a student needing a part time job, I saw an advert for part time chauffer/bearer, suitable for a retired gentleman and I thought it would also be perfect for a student. Initially I drove the hearses and limousines, I enjoyed the respect that was given to the funeral cortege on the way to a ceremony, the way cars would move or not pull out. I liked that even people going about their day stopped for a moment for the loss of someone’s loved one.
Q. Where did it go from there?
A. The company I worked for received the coroners contract for the area. This meant that I would go out to peoples homes and accident sites and bring the deceased into our care. Other than ambulance crews and police, we would be the first people to care for the deceased, even if we never received the funeral, often we were the first to say I’m sorry for your loss. Whilst I found the level of raw emotion difficult, I wanted to learn how to put peoples minds at ease and to alleviate some of their pain and suffering over their loss.
Q. But how does that lead to funeral director?
A. I wanted to be able to do more and more for the families that I came into contact with. Not many know, but I suffer with a very severe form of dyslexia and knew that arranging a funeral would be difficult in only just the paper work. I would sit and talk with families for hours (a lot longer that I was supposed to) and I would then arrange the funeral from memory, no paperwork! You can imagine that this was not taken too well by the big company that I worked for ‘If it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen’. However, they couldn’t deny that the funerals I arranged and the families I cared for, received the highest level of care and I received no end of thank you cards, letters, flowers and the occasional bottle of whiskey in thanks.
Q. So from arranger to director?
A. No, next I went down the memorial mason route, I learned how to erect headstones and curb sets. Renovate and restore headstones, erect headstones and to use the sandblaster. Whilst I enjoyed this I did not have any contact with families and I missed that, I felt that I would always be better helping the families and being part of their journey with loss and grief.
Q. Tell me about Barker Family Funeral Services.
A. After working for several large national companies, and seeing how they treated families as just a number, I realised that I wanted to give people the personal service and get to know them (the two hour long arrangements and several cups of tea), let them know that when they phone they will speak to someone who knows them (as soon as I recognise a voice it is usually followed with a hearty hello and a how are you) and to build a repour. On the day of the funeral, I know the names of the family in the car, I know who is going to struggle the most and I know where I need to be and that is by the family’s side, not worrying about the next funeral. This is what families deserve in the very least. I wanted to be able to give that and working for other companies I couldn’t.
That decided it for me, if I wanted to be able to give people what they deserved then I would have to set out on my own. After lots of head scratching and worrying, that is what I did and that is the birth of Barker Family Funeral Services, where as soon as we hear your voice on the phone we know who we are talking to, where 3 am phone calls in a panic about socks are answered and followed through, where we really do treat you as one of our family.
Q. What is the future plan for Barker Family Funeral Services, is it multiple shops, multiple locations, do you dream big?
A No, I want to be the local funeral director, where when I’m old and grey, someone comes in to arrange the funeral for their husband and say I remember when you looked after dad or grandad, I remember how you looked after them and us at the time and that’s why I’m here today, when I know everyone over at the co-op food store, Nethertons and Oh My Cod (you really should have everything of their menu its delicious). I want to be part of the Long Stratton Community.
Height: 6 ft 2
Weight: You did read my comment about oh my cod right
In 2019 one of the largest funeral chains in the UK commissioned a survey looking at the national cost of funerals. They found that 79% of people opted for cremation over burial. At the time of the survey the average burial was £5000 and the average cremation £3986.
These prices are affected by lots of external and internal factors.
The external factors outside of a funeral directors control affect the cost of your chosen funeral. For example, the average cost of a burial in Greater London is £7883, whilst in the East Midlands it is £4603.
This is mainly due to the availability of burial space, the cost of purchasing the Exclusive Right Of Burial (EROB) will also vary according to location i.e. cemetery, churchyard or woodland.
The factor affecting a cremation price is the cost of the chosen crematorium which can range in price from £800 to over £1000
We at Barker Family Funeral Services can offer both burials and cremations at a lower price than most of our competitors and lower than the national average.
This is because of our directors fees and commission. We charge a significantly lower cost for our services for example, caring for your loved one, use of the chapel of rest, choice of location for the arrangement – we can come to you and we do not charge for out of hours collection, you do not choose what time of day you pass away.
We also do not charge commission on the services provided by others, we make no profit on our disbursements, we are charged £82 for each doctor to certify death for cremation, this is the same price passed on to our customers.
We work with local suppliers, our Florist provides a 3ft coffin spray at a preferential cost that we include in our price.
We have no hidden costs, we have no hidden extras.
In order to ensure you get the best service possible we encourage you to seek quotes from several funeral directors, see our next blog “shopping around for a funeral directors- What should I ask?”
Bring your quote with you to see us and we will do our best to match any like for like quote.
When sitting down to arrange a funeral, the question of flowers is raised. Included in the cost of a funeral with Barker Family Funeral Services is a 3ft coffin spray, provided by local Rushall florist Louise Warner. But what about other flowers? Should you say no flowers? Or family flowers only?
One family decided, as many do, to ask for donations in lieu of flowers. How does this work?
At Barker Family Funeral Services we pride ourselves on creating the send off your loved one deserved, including raising and handling charitable donations for your chosen good cause, free of charge.
This is done in partnership with the charity through online donations, cash collections on the day of the funeral service, cheques via the post and via the online tribute site Much Loved
The local family of well known and well loved Doris Joyce, chose to raise donations for Harker House, Doris’ home during her final years.
All the staff at Harker House were very fond of Doris and daughter Margaret, who still says hello to all the staff and misses regular chats and cups of tea.
In Doris’s memory, over £1000 has been raised for Harker House, the plans are to erect a summer house so that families can visit with loved ones and share those much missed cups of tea during these difficult times.
Recent charities and good causes to benefit from the gift of donations in lieu of flowers include:
East Anglian Children’s Charity – in memory of Velma Farrow
The Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity, Heamatology department – in memory of George ‘Peter’ Corefield
The Stroke associate – in memory of Chris Sayer
Dementia Uk – in memory of Basil Barber
These donations go a long way in helping others and providing care and support for so many.
Leave a lasting legacy in your loved ones name with Donations in lieu of flowers.
Many people wish to take out a funeral plan, they can give you financial security for those you leave behind, give you piece of mind, knowing that your wishes are known and understood, save your loved ones from the financial burdens associated with an often sudden an unexpected cost. A funeral plan made today can reduce the stress of planning a funeral during one of the most emotionally difficult time.
A pre-payment funeral plan is a sensible option and can be cost effective and easy to budget for. It secures a funeral for today’s prices.
Barker Family Funeral Services can provide a no obligation chat over a cup of tea to talk about all your pre-payment options.
Discussing funeral plans can be a sensitive topic, however, we at Barker Family Funeral Services can help make the process as smooth as possible
A pre-paid funeral plan is an ideal way of paying for your own funeral or that of a loved one, securing today’s prices, it can help reduce the financial burden to your loved ones.
A pre-paid plan or funeral plan can be paid as a lump sum or in regular installments over a fixed period of time.
Anyone over the age of 18 can take out a funeral plan for themselves or a loved one and there is no upper age limit.
A funeral plan can allow you to plan the type of funeral you want, the things included in your plan can vary from providers and type of plan. Typically they include :
Funeral director fees
Type of coffin
Burial or cremation
What you’d like to happen at your funeral
How to choose a funeral plan
Planning and paying for your funeral in advance frees your loved ones from the financial pressure and emotional stress involved in arranging and planning your funeral. Talk with your family and friends before taking out a plan, so that they are aware of your wishes and who to contact in the event of your death, you may find that they too have considered a funeral plan, or they didn’t know how to start the conversation.
After you have considered what type of funeral you would like, you can start to look at what type of funeral plan you need. Plan coverage can vary from just the funeral directors fees, to all the disbursements or third party fees to including bespoke items such as alternative hearses.
To find the best funeral plan for you, you should compare funeral plan providers and funeral plans, always read the terms and conditions to ensure you know what is covered and that it meets your needs.