Pure Cremations

My partner and I have been talking about the unthinkable, and the best laid plans to cope if the unthinkable did in if fact become a reality.
Neither of us want fancy funerals. Burials don't appeal at all, which leaves cremations. 

We have been to various traditional cremations over the last few years, and although very professional and delicately handled from start to finish, both of us are of the same mind in that we find the entire process too over elaborate and in some instances unnecessary. Which may also explain why such cremations are hugely expensive even with insurance.

But recently my partner was told about pure cremations, where a lot of the "window dressing" as she calls it, is excluded and you just end up with a bare bones cremation (no pun intended), no service and as far as she could tell, no one attends the cremation (although for a fee this can be reversed for up to 12 attendees)

The cost of such a funeral is supposedly more than half that of a traditional funeral (so anything up to £2k at today's prices). But I worry about the stigma attached to the entire concept. In other words what would friends, family and relations think of what they would call a "pauper's funeral" 

Personally I don't mind having a pure cremation, and neither does my partner. But I just wondered if anyone on here has an opinion not just about the possible stigma, but the actual pure cremation process as a whole?

Thank you


  • edited 15 April 2022 at 4:45PM
    p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
    11.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 15 April 2022 at 4:45PM
    I'm not aware of any stigma, and am planning to have one of these myself, for a few reasons.
    Firstly, I'm now a very long drive away from the vast majority of my relatives, some elderly, and I wouldn't want them travelling a long distance to a funeral (which would almost certainly involve a stay overnight for many of them).
    Secondly, I'm not religious, and neither are the majority of the people who I know. As such I feel no need for any formal ceremony after I'm dead, and personally have found that funerals offer little comfort to the bereaved.
    Thirdly, I think elaborate funerals - like weddings - are a waste of money and would rather the money was spent in a more constuctive way (e.g given to charity, or used to fund a lasting memorial or a jolly good knees up at some later time).
    My understanding is that with a [edit - 'direct' not Pure, which as Gers points out is a brand name] cremation your friends and relatives are told the time and day of the event - I'll ask them to raise a glass to my memory in the comfort of their own homes (or wherevever they want), and remember me in their own way.
  • edited 15 April 2022 at 2:04PM
    GersGers Forumite
    11.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 15 April 2022 at 2:04PM
    Pure cremations is a brand - the term for what you are talking about is direct cremations / unattended cremations,  just like David Bowie had! There's no stigma attached to this, it's seen now as a very cost effective and acceptable way of cremation. 
    What you refer to as a 'pauper's funeral' is now a Public Health funeral which is when the local authority deal with it for various reasons.  This is completely different to a direct cremation.  Still no stigma anymore!
    My late DM requested a direct cremation before she died last year and I held a gathering in her memory months later with covid restrictions had been eased. The cremation cost under £2k.  Everyone I spoke to was delighted to have a celebration rather than a mourning.  It's not the solution for many people, for our family it was perfect.  It's in my letter of wishes too and I've had stern words with my executor to follow through.

  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
    13.4K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Why is death unthinkable? It is the one certainty we all face.

    I would certainly not care what people think about going for a cheap option.
  • gwynlasgwynlas Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I have written on the forum a number of times regarding Direct Cremation whch I favour on a number of levels. Most crematoriums are so busy that you are allocated a scant period for the funeral anytime of day and are often aware of those being held before and after you. The other thing is that expensive floral arrangements are set out for viewers but swept aside at tthe end of the day. I have stipulated that i want a direct cremation then for my ashes to be scattered in AONB. I don't care who does it or when or if whoever responsible at the time chooses to invite others. I have suggested previously that if it suits a family might host some kind of gathering for remembrances which could mean tea and cake for an hour at home or the proverbial party if thats what suits.A number of people seem to be having memorial ceremones now given restricted numbers at funerals during lockdowns. I am attending my first natural burial next week where the only ceremony will be at the graveside, each to their own.
  • PennylanePennylane Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I knew 4 people who all chose direct cremations in recent years.  I had never heard of these until about 5 years ago. The first was a lovely elderly man with no family so this is what he chose. 

    The one that did surprise me was a woman from a very tight knit family, husband of many years, 4 adult children and a few grandchildren.  A lot of people were shocked at her decision but one of her daughters explained that it was her wish that when she passed away they should all just carry on as normal and she didn’t want them all having to go to the Crematorium, buy new clothes and waste their money and also extend their mourning. 
  • msb1234msb1234 Forumite
    326 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My mum was recently cremated with a simple cremation. We paid just over £1000 with the Coop.  Nobody attended and we collected her ashes from the crematorium the day after. 
    We had a wake a couple of weeks later which was such a joyous celebration of her life rather than a rushed affair following a heart breaking cremation that many people experience. We had her favourite music, a photo display, lovely flowers, a fab buffet and myself and my sister both gave an eulogy. I highly recommend it!
  • ZolaBuddyZolaBuddy Forumite
    120 Posts
    100 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Why is death unthinkable? It is the one certainty we all face.

    I would certainly not care what people think about going for a cheap option.
    I guess what I meant to say in terms of the unthinkable happening is for death to happen at an early age. Which happened to a old school friend who died aged 29 of Covid last year.
  • florainflorain Forumite
    49 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    My OH died  suddenly in Dec. and we had thought of using a direct cremation company when the time came. Had looked at websites and got a brochure from one to file away.
    However, the lovely bereavement team at the hospital warned that it might take a while for the company to collect the body(as in 2-3 weeks not unknown). They then suggested the council 'affordable cremation'. All dealt with 'in house' between hospital, coroner and crematorium and I was kept informed all the way. Possible to have up to 10 mourners present if wanted.
    Cost  -   £700
  • ZolaBuddyZolaBuddy Forumite
    120 Posts
    100 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Thanks for all the positive replies. Seems that my concerns over the stigma of such a cremation service is unfounded.
    Definitely worth considering even more so now I think. I'm only in my late 20s and death and funerals isn't something I should be worrying about. But I'd rather take out insurance and tell everyone what I now want in terms of a direct cremation

    Thanks again
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Did you know there's an MSE app?

It's free & available on iOS & Android


Regifting: good idea or not?

Add your two cents to the discussion

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools