A new crematorium which will serve the people of Worksop and Retford has been officially opened and dedicated.
To mark the occasion at the Barnby Moor Memorial Park and Crematorium, a multi-faith service took place led by the Bishop of Sherwood, the Right Reverend Tony Porter, assisted by the Bishop of Hallam, the Right Reverend Ralph Heskett, Reverend Peter Sheasby from the Trinity Methodist circuit and Pippa Pal, a local humanist funeral officiant.
The congregation, which included funeral directors from the area, invited guests and clergy was welcomed by company CEO and founder Howard Hogdson.
Mr Hodgson, who has over 50 years’ experience in the funeral industry, remarked that although over the last few decades culturally we have witnessed a move away from the rather historic Victorian-type services normally associated with funeral providers, citing particularly the advent of more personalisation, direct cremation and the accelerated growth of pre-paid funeral plans – the one constant, however, that will always remain was the pain and loss we all collectively experience when we face a bereavement.
He said: “This is the 15th memorial park that we have built. And it is one we are very pleased with and we are pleased to be serving the community here.
“Bereavement is something which doesn’t change. At the end of it all we must remember, whether you are a member of a religion, have another sort of belief or it is a celebration of a service for the bereaved, we must remember that we all have to serve the bereaved.
“Funerals change but people and the feelings of the people we serve never change.
“We are trying very hard to cater for bereaved people to express and have a celebration of life.
“Taking into account religious beliefs and personal feelings and choice in an expression of life.
“It’s been a long journey.”
He went onto say that Memoria as a family-owned business, fully recognises this and to this end its mission statement is essentially built around focusing on trying to ease that pain as much as feasibly possible.
He said: “Memoria has a mission to provide exceptional standards of service and facility to the bereaved families that use its crematoria and gardens of remembrance. This is because it is not only commercially sensible to do so but also because it is an essential act of human decency towards people who have just lost a much-loved member of their family or friend.
“Bereavement is the price we must all pay for the joy of loving and being loved. The loss of a loved one is the most stressful, unhappy and traumatic experience that we will face in life.
“We at Memoria realise that we are unable to eradicate such pain but we also know it is our responsibility and duty to be as efficient, kind, respectful and polite as humanly possible to our clients at their time of grief, and thereafter when they return to remember their cherished relatives or friends.
“Therefore, it is our aim to provide immaculately clean and tidy facilities in tranquil and beautiful surroundings attended by people who are sincerely dedicated to our mission, and who take a great pride in their work as a result.”
The new site at Barnby Moor includes many industry firsts including the provision of one-hour service times which avoid families seeing other funeral corteges arrive and depart, plasma screens for photo dedications/eulogies, choice of advanced music system or live organ, all set in a tranquil countryside environment with water features and extensive gardens.
At the conclusion of the official service the congregation were led out to the chapel entrance area and the Bishop formally blessed the site and its grounds and unveiled a commemorative plaque to record the occasion, this coincided with the symbolic release of a dove by Mark Alexander, the site manager.