Co-op launches new direct cremation service

Published by Rachel Lacey on 30 May 2018.
Last updated on 30 May 2018

Flower at funeral

Co-op Funeralcare has announced the launch of a new direct cremation service that slashes funeral costs for people who do not want a traditional send off.

With direct cremation, the deceased is cremated shortly after death with no family members or friends present. The ashes are then returned to loved ones once the process is completed.

This type of cremation is growing in popularity and has been bought into the mainstream by celebrities including musician David Bowie and novelist Anita Brookner.

Co-op’s service, which is called Cremation Without Ceremony costs £1,395 (or £1,230 in Scotland). Although this is less than half the cost of a traditional funeral, the Co-op says the driving force for this type of send-off is not always cost. By not including a service in the funeral package, mourners are free to mark the deceased’s passing as they so wish – through a memorial service, a family gathering or scattering ashes in a cherished place.

The package includes transportation of the body, help with paperwork, doctors’ fees and a simple coffin. Ashes can be collected or scattered in a garden of remembrance. However, hand delivery of ashes costs an additional £95.

During 2017, Co-op says 80% of funerals were by cremation and that during trials of the new service the number of customers opting for direct cremation rose from 5.8% to 12.5% over a six-month period.

In the US, 32% of all cremations are now direct, according to Co-op.

Commenting on the launch, Caroline Jones, head of propositions for Co-op Funeralcare and Later Life Planning says: “We’ve seen an increased demand for this simpler service and our priority is always to do right by the families in our care. We’re expecting the demand for this offering to continue to rise, by introducing Cremation Without Ceremony we’re ensuring that we’re offering choices to families when the time comes to say goodbye.’’

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Price of delivery of ashes at

Price of delivery of ashes at £95 somewhat exorbitant if one wants to cremate at minimal charge! Maybe cheaper to use Royal Mail. At least I know my postman!

Direct cremation sounds a

Direct cremation sounds a really good idea and is worth thinking about. I know that I will be giving it consideration.

Not before time as it has

Not before time as it has become just show. I have a similar plan plan I did a few years back with co-op which cast £1,150 using a space in my father's grave, if I had used new grave I own it would have been £175 more. I insisted a van collect me, placed in unpolished cofin (could not do a body bag), grave digger, van takes me to grave then filled in, only my sister present, all fees are included, what more does one need. I fully support the new cremation plan Those who want show funerals are free to waste their own money but should receive no tax payer support if more than the basic funeral.

I LIKE THIS IDEA of this type

I LIKE THIS IDEA of this type of funeral

Great idea. It’s about time

Great idea. It’s about time something like this was offered as funerals are ridiculously expensive. However I am signed up to the Organ Donor scheme. I wonder if this type of cremation would be allowed by the Co-op in these cases

The Co-op says: "The organ

The Co-op says: "The organ donor process happens before any funeral arrangements are made, so you can choose any funeral plan including cremation without ceremony."

The Co-operative are

The Co-operative are ridiculously overpriced for funerals. I know from personal experience they have NO respect for the living and especially NONE for the dead. Stick with the local independent funeral director. Give these CLOWNS called Co-Operative a miss.

AnnMarie, I only use the Co

AnnMarie, I only use the Co-op in an emergency as food stores so expensive. Co-op funerals burried our dad 57 years ago also my gran, 2 uncles an aunt and our mother. all were done well and reasonable cost some on pre paid plans on pre paid bespoke plans. The funeral director at Heckmondwike was a young lady, I could not believe how good she carried out her duty and more besides, she deserves an award, she also burried our mother. I wanted a basic bespoke pre paid plan and only cost £1,150 adding me to my dad's grave, £175 more if I used a new plot I owned which i can now sell back. No other funeral directors could do a bespoke pre paid plan only the fixed ones they sell and unlike Co-op they did not cover everything with no further costs when the day comes. Now with the new cremation option it is cheap with Co-op if you don't want to pay an extra 2 grand for frills so easy for the poorer people.