Events

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Going Green at Brookwood -Sunday Sept 9th

Come and meet members of the Good Funeral Guild at a special event in Brookwood Cemetery in Woking Surrey to mark 25 years of natural burial.

Everyone is welcome, and it’s free to attend.

 

11.00 – tree planting ceremony marking the 25 year anniversary of natural burial, with Ken West MBE

12.00 – 13.30 – Life Drawing, with Andrew Maginley

13.00 – 14.00 – Death Cafe Picnic

14.00 – 15.30 – Life Drawing with Andrew Maginley

15.00 – 16.00 – Death Cafe Picnic

Throughout the day you can:

Try a  Forest Bathing walk

Time to Altar Grief – a community memorial altar for all

Make a mandala or a flower garland / head dress

Browse our Books in a Bell Tent

Meet a friendly funeral director and ask them anything you like

Chat with members of the Good Funeral Guild

 

Oh, and there will be cake. Lots of cake.

With a very special centrepiece cake created by Conjurer’s Kitchen.

About the day

It’s been twenty five years since the inspirational Ken West MBE opened the very first natural burial ground at Carlisle cemetery, and at the Good Funeral Guide CIC we felt that this landmark anniversary needed to be acknowledged.

Members of the Good Funeral Guild felt so too, and so we have organised a celebratory day to commemorate Ken’s achievement at the beautiful, iconic Brookwood Cemetery.

Since 1993 when the first natural burial took place, over 300 sites around the UK have been opened, and countless thousands of people have chosen this gently, environmentally responsible alternative to cremation or traditional burial. Despite this, natural burial lags behind in the statistics, being the choice of only around 1% of the population, which we think is a real shame. We’d love to help raise awareness of natural burial generally, so this celebratory day is a starting point for us. Watch this space for further developments.

In the meantime, the event on Sunday 9th September will be open to everyone to attend, with an opportunity to explore the fabulous historic Brookwood Cemetery as a bonus. The London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company was established in 1852 to provide ‘a great metropolitan cemetery situated in the suburbs, large enough to contain all of London’s dead for ever’, in response to great public concern about the state of London’s cemeteries.

Two years later, Brookwood Cemetery was opened and the London Necropolis Railway ran between Waterloo station and two private stations in the cemetery, carrying coffins and mourners directly into the cemetery grounds.

Since then, over 240,000 people have been buried here, and the cemetery is a hidden wonder of beautiful landscaping, quietly fading memorials and mausolea, immaculate military cemeteries and gems such as the only Zoroastrian cemetery in Europe and the St. Edward Brotherhood, a small Orthodox Christian monastery.

Set in the heart of Brookwood Cemetery is the natural burial area, Gillian’s Meadow, and it is here that we will be gathering to commemorate the establishment of natural burial as a viable alternative to the existing funeral choices. Bring a picnic and a rug and come and spend the day immersed in the beauty of Brookwood.

It will be a wonderful day, commemorating a hugely important movement inspired a quarter of a century ago by the brave innovation of Ken West and Carlisle City Council.

The Facebook Page for the event is here.