I first became involved with funerals in 1995. Whilst nursing my terminally ill mum Zoë, I began, at her request, to look into options for her funeral.
When the time came I was able to wash and dress my mum myself, friends made her coffin and we held her funeral in a thatched barn. Zoë then had one of the first burials in a newly opened woodland burial ground with a hawthorn tree planted on her grave.
We found that by being fully involved in the entire process and having a very personal funeral in a venue where we could take our time was a cathartic experience. Friends and family used their own skills to make, speak, carry, create and cook.
It was a wonderful day, full of sadness but with great love and pride too. It helped us all immensely. I went on to train to be a funeral director in 1996 with the funeral pioneers Peace Funerals, working in London and Sheffield. I set up Natural Endings in Manchester in 2005 (became limited 2008) and then in Todmorden in 2022.
Lisa joined Natural Endings in 2022. Previously she worked for a funeral chain and later had her own business supporting independent funeral companies in practical ways. She found that though she loves death care work that working for a chain didn’t suit her. Working with Natural Endings she finds the that being involved in the whole journey with a bereaved family provides a better experience for them.
A reflection of a person’s life
We are all individuals. As such a funeral service should reflect the loves, achievements and authentic personality and life of your person.
Natural Endings provide a personal service that includes taking time to gain an understanding of you and your family’s values and beliefs and what is important to you. We help you create a funeral that is unique for your person; that celebrates their life and personality whilst acknowledging the sadness that they are no longer physically here or other difficult feelings.
We welcome diversity and feel that we are inclusive of different families and communities needs. Care of deceased people is done by our female team and we can even provide a female pallbearing team if you wish.
Though death and loss are natural parts of our lives they can often be painful and confusing. We hope to help you to navigate this potentially difficult time with compassion and humanity. We believe that growing to accept a loss and reflecting on someone’s life is a gradual process. The time leading up to the funeral and the funeral itself are important parts of this process.
Collaborating with you
We work closely with you and can either fulfil your ideas or offer appropriate suggestions for creating a funeral that reflects your person’s unique personality.
We are one of the founding members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors we’re recognised experts in green funerals and natural woodland burial. We also arrange cremation and at the end of the year we hope to offer resomations (also known as water cremation). We work with many funeral leaders from all faiths and non-religious ones. They vary a lot in character and approach so we try and find one that’s the right fit for you. We feel like we have a good hit rate with finding the right person for you! You might feel like you’d like something more informal. We also regularly support families to lead their own service and love to see what they create.
As well as arranging funeral ceremonies in churches and places of worship we are able to offer a choice of non-religious venues for a funeral ceremony. We have arranged funerals in a barn, pub, art studio, cinema, families own homes and gardens and even a sports stadium. More recently we are very pleased to offer our own ceremony space for a funeral.
At your convenience
We can do as much or as little as you need. It might be helpful for you to be very hands-on using your own skills and creativity. We love to see what you bring. Or perhaps if you’re feeling overwhelmed you would like us to listen to what you need and then take care of everything for you.
We understand that lives are busy at this time and that there is lots to do. Therefore we can visit you at home, if you wish, to take arrangements and give you a no-commitment estimate. Or if it suits you better you can make an appointment to come and see us.
We have appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and contribute to broadsheet articles, and to BBC Online.
We always happy to answer your questions and help if we can.
Even if you’re not in our regions of Manchester, Cheshire, South Lancashire and West Yorkshire please contact me if you have a question relating to funerals.
Rosie Inman-Cook; Manager of The Natural Death Centre
Jo Bayly & Lindsay Parish, Bowdon
If you have had a bereavement and would like to talk to someone about funeral arrangements,
please call our 24 hour numbers –
0161 969 6690 – for South Manchester and Cheshire
01706 941757 – for Todmorden, South Lancashire and Calderdale
We are happy to discuss your requirements and provide you with a no-commitment estimate of costs.Contact us