Annual Report
Year Ended 31st March 2009

The Cremation Society of Great Britain

Report of the Council

The members of the Council, who are the trustees of the charity and are also directors of the charity for the purposes of the Companies Act 1985, submit their annual report and the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2009. The trustees have adopted the provisions of the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP 2005) in preparing the annual report and financial statements of the charity, the group accounts incorporating the consolidated figures for its subsidiary, the London Cremation Company plc and the associated charity, The Golders Green Foundation.



The Society was founded in 1874 by Sir Henry Thompson, Bart. Its objects are:

  • to promote the practice of cremation for the respectful disposal of the bodies of dead persons;
  • to advance public education in the practice and ethics of cremation; and
  • to investigate methods of disposing of the bodies of dead persons which appear to the Society to be superior to cremation and, if the Society thinks fit, to promote such methods and advance public education in their practice and ethics either instead of or in addition to cremation.

To achieve these objectives the charity:

  • encourages the highest operational and ethical standards in cremation practice through the establishment, ownership, management of or investment in crematoria.
  • in respect of any method of disposing of the bodies of dead persons other than cremation which the Society decides to investigate or promote, to act in a like manner as it can act in respect of cremation.
  • holds regular cremation conferences, organises meetings and lectures and fosters research.
  • collates and disseminates information on cremation related topics.
  • liaises and co-operates with other organisations, government departments and individuals, both nationally and internationally, on cremation matters.
  • publishes a quarterly magazine Pharos International.
  • publishes annual directories of crematoria.


The Society is a company limited by guarantee and is a registered charity, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association dated 26 July 1922 as amended on 14 October 2004 and 17 June 2008. The Council is elected by the members of the Society. It currently has seven members and met six times this year. The day to day operations of the charity are managed by the Secretary and his staff to all of whom the Council offers warm thanks for their work and dedication.

Related Parties

The charity has one subsidiary company: The London Cremation Company plc, a company registered in England, which owns and operates crematoria at Golders Green and St Marylebone in London, Woking St John's in Surrey, Banbury in North Oxfordshire and the Garden of England in North East Kent.

The charity has a close relationship with the Golders Green Foundation, which is a registered charity. It has the power to appoint the Trustees of the Golders Green Foundation.

Statement of Council Members' Responsibilities

Company law requires us as Council members to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Society and the group and of the net income or expense of the Society and the group for that period. In preparing those financial statements we are required to:

  • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
  • make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
  • state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;
  • prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Society will continue in business.

We are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Society and enable us to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act. We are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Society and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.


The Group results for the year are shown in the consolidated summary income and expenditure account and the consolidated statement of financial activities. The net loss of the group for the year was £21,173 as compared to a loss of £546,505 for the previous year.

The year continued to be characterised by the continued role of the government in death care matters with continuing emphasis on environmental and certification issues. Many of these issues have involved input from the Society and are referred to in this report.

The London Cremation Company plc

During the year under review the Company's profit before taxation amounted to £424,276. In the previous year the loss before taxation amounted to £18,328. Operating profits before the exceptional charge due to the winding up of the final salary pension scheme amounted to £416,206 (2008: £443,717). The Company carried out 5,371 cremations during the year, an increase of 211 on the previous year.

Golders Green Foundation

The excess for the year amounted to £6,344 (2008: £1,000). No donations were made during the year.



The Society's Archives are stored at the University of Durham's Palace Green Library (Special Collections Section). Thanks to the library staff they are well maintained and are regularly consulted by scholars, including the Society's three Council Members currently writing the Development of Cremation in Modern Scotland.

The Society's archives at Durham can be accessed via the internet at


The Society's website at continues to provide free access to a rich source of material on all aspects of cremation in the United Kingdom. It is regularly visited by the public, academics and those involved in the death care professions. It also provides a useful tool when dealing with enquiries from various sources about cremation and the Society's work.

It still remains the Society's intention to redesign the website to improve its presentation and user-friendliness. This has not been possible during the year under review due to staff limitations and financial constraints. However, preliminary discussions have taken place with the Society's computer consultants on this matter.

As mentioned in the last Report the Society accepted an invitation from the UK Web Archiving Consortium consisting of The British Library, The National Archives, The National Library of Scotland, The National Library of Wales and the Wellcom Library, to participate in the Consortium's work by allowing it to archive the Society's website. Following the Society's acceptance its website has been archived and is now accessible in the Public Archive Section of the UK Web Archiving Consortium's website at

Directory of Crematoria

During the year sales of the Society's Directory of Crematoria held up well despite competition from a number of competitors. It remains an important source of income for the Society.

The demand for the publication can be attributed to its ease of use and the fact that the information published is checked and updated annually. The annual questionnaire sent to cremation authorities relating to their insertion in the Directory includes requests for other details that are not published but which provide a valuable source of information for the cremation movement and in particular the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

The Council is grateful to the staff of cremation authorities for their co-operation in completing the questionnaire enabling the Society to provide the most detailed information available.

Pharos International

The high quality of its content and presentation has been maintained during the year under review. Pharos international continues to be recognised as the leading cremation publication in Great Britain's cremation movement as well as one of the leading cremation publications worldwide with copies presently circulating in approximately 40 countries. An increasing number of requests are received for permission to reproduce articles and statistics appearing in Pharos by editors of death care magazines published abroad. Permission is willingly given provided the source is acknowledged. This provides the Society with a high national and international profile and the widest possible readership.

Pharos is the main publication of the International Cremation Federation and due to its domestic and international circulation continues to be one of the Society's principal promotional aids and avenues of communication. It continues to be produced on an increasingly sound financial footing, no mean achievement for the only subscription magazine in the UK cremation movement. Pharos is edited by R N Arber.


The Society is now entitled to receive royalties from the reproduction of certain printed material that it publishes. The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) represents the interests of the UK publishing industry and pays any royalties due to the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) which operates the collective licensing system. Schools, universities and libraries etc. all have to pay copyright fees to the CLA in order that students and members of the general public (in the case of libraries) can copy and use published material. The PLS role is to ascertain what has been copied and used and to pay royalties to respective publishers.

The Society is eligible to receive royalties from the publication of conference papers, Directory of Crematoria and Pharos International. uring the year under review approximately £1,757 was received by way of royalties. This included an accumulation of payments being held by the PRS and due to the Society in respect of past years. Whilst income derived from this source will continue it will be at a much lower level as there will be no accumulated payment.

Annual Conference 2009 (Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2009)

Continuing to build on the success of previous conferences a Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition was again staged in 2009. The event took place at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth, Dorset, during 6th to 8th July 2009. The event was again staged by:

The Cremation Society of Great Britain, the founder and pioneer of the cremation movement in the United Kingdom. It established the first crematorium in the UK and is a founder member of the International Cremation Federation.

The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities which represents 90% of all cremation authorities in the United Kingdom and has recently widened its scope to allow full membership of the FBCA to burial authorities.

The Association of Private Crematoria which represents 75% of all private crematoria in the UK. Nearly all new crematoria are being established by the private sector.

The Association of Burial Authorities was formed in 1993 to fulfil the need for a consumer orientated organisation to coordinate the activities of burial grounds and provide a tangible link between them and the public.

There was a diverse programme designed to be of interest to all sections of the death care profession. Legislative issues were covered with papers on The Rating Valuation of Crematoria and Burial Grounds by Graeme Smale, Specialist Rating Unit, Valuation Office Agency; Four Funerals and a Wedding - Reforming Parochial Fees Legislation by Sarah Smith, Senior Policy Adviser, The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, and a Stakeholder Panel consisting of Brian Patterson, Coroners Unit, Ministry of Justice, Dr Chris Stretton, Medical Referee, Gloucester Crematorium, Patrick Gallagher, President, National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors and John Rotherham, President, Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities discussed Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 - The First Six Months. The Moderator for the session was the Society's new Chairman Mr Harvey Thomas CBE.

Social and cultural issues were covered by Tell Us Once by Melanie Scott, Local Authority Liaison Tell Us Once Programme, Department for Work and Pensions and Bereavement Awareness Training by John Parson, Service & Development Manager, Cruse Bereavement Care.

Practical operational aspects of cremation and burial were covered by presentations on Memorial Safety by Anton Matthews and Stephen Laing, Stone-Safe; Pandemics - How Prepared Are You? by Andrew Platts, Managing Director, Technochem UK Ltd (incorporating Anubis Consulting) and Duncan McCallum, Secretary of The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation (CAMEO) by Brendan Day, CAMEO Manager, Richard Barradell, Secretary and Treasurer, Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries, Adrian Britton, Commercial Director, Westerleigh Group Ltd, and Tony Hall, Stuton Associates Limited; Money to Burn? Gas Consumption in Crematoria (Management Techniques) by Andrew Mallalieu, Vice-President Technical Affairs, Facultatieve Technologies Ltd; Water Conservation Through Efficient Land Drainage by Steve Gant, General Manager, Dignity Crematoria and Cemeteries; Resomation® Update - A great concept becoming reality by Sandy Sullivan, Managing Director, Resomation Ltd and Technologies for Cremation by Salvatore Mineo,GEM-Matthews International SRL.

The international perspective was provided by presentations on Cremation in Greece by Antonis Alakiotis, President of The Committee for the Right of Cremation in Greece; Between Two Fires: Cremation in the 20th-21st Centuries, Romania, by Dr Marius Rotar, Researcher, "1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba lulia; and Not Quite King Tut! (Exhumation in Luxor, Egypt) by Peter Mitchell, Peter Mitchell Associates.

Finally there was the ever popular Presidents' Panel which this year included Presidents from the Co-operative Funeral Managers Association, Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management, National Association of Funeral Directors and the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors.

The "joint" event continues to be financially successful for the Society.

The 2010 Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, between 5th and 8th July.

Burial and Cemeteries Advisory Group (Ministry of Justice)

The Society is represented on the Group and further progress has been made on legislation for the re-use of old graves. It is not yet apparent what impact this will have on the public's use of cremation but as the Society's primary purpose is to promote cremation it maintains a neutral stance on this issue whilst maintaining a watching brief.

Council of British Funeral Services

The Council of British Funeral Services is a National Federation of funeral service associations, organisations, groups and others having sectoral interests related to the funeral sector. The Society is represented on the Council which meets regularly twice a year.


There have been a number of consultation exercises carried out and reports published relating to various aspects of the disposal of the dead. They include Consultation on Improving the Process of Death Certification (Department of Health), Cremation Regulations Consolidation and Modernisation (Ministry of Justice), Statutory Duty for Doctors and other Public Service Personnel to Report Deaths to the Coroner (Ministry of Justice), Planning for a Possible Influenza Pandemic - A Framework for Planners Preparing to Manage Deaths (Home Office).

Cremation Regulations (England and Wales) 2008

The Society participated in the consultation process undertaken by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that culminated in the issue of the Cremation Regulation (England and Wales) 2008. The new Regulations came into effect on 1st January 2009 with a transitional period of one month during which time both old and new forms could be used. The new Regulations came fully into effect on 1st February 2009 when the transitional period ended. Guidance was issued by the MoJ to medical referees, doctors, cremation authorities, funeral directors and applicants for cremation. The overall impression of the MoJ is that the new Regulations and statutory forms are bedding down reasonably well.

Following the inception of the new Regulations and up to July 2009 the MoJ had experienced a number of queries from cremation authorities, medical referees, coroners and others in the weeks leading up to and immediately after their implementation. In November 2008 when guidance was first issued there was some 154 enquiries, but by April 2009 this had tailed off to just 4.

As a Shipman related measure the new Regulations gave bereaved families the right to inspect forms completed by a medical practitioner, so that any discrepancies or areas of concern might be further investigated. A number of Shipman families thought that they might have noticed discrepancies in the cremation forms he had completed if they had had this right at the time.

The expected level of take up at the present time has been significantly lower than expected. Furthermore it would appear that there have only been isolated instances where a case has had to be referred to the coroner for further investigation. After a full year in operation and the collection of statistical information it is the intention of the MoJ to review how successful or otherwise this element of the new Regulations has been.

After six months in operation the Ministry of Justice convened a meeting of interested stakeholders, which included the Society, to review the progress of the new Regulations. Apart from the right to inspect the meeting addressed a number of other issues such as the printing and design of cremation forms, the position in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the position of retired doctors, embalming and the removal of medical implants prior to cremation.

The 2008 Regulations are seen by the government as an interim measure which will largely be replaced by a new system of death certification which the Department of Health is formulating and will be incorporated in a Coroners and Justice Bill which will create the role of Medical Examiner. The Medical Examiner will examine all deaths that are not referred straight to a coroner, including those where the method of disposal is burial. The Cremation Regulations will no longer be required in their present form once the Medical Examiner system has come into effect throughout England and Wales, and this is expected to be around April 2011. Once in effect that part of the Cremation Regulations dealing with the duties of medical referees, including all the forms, will no longer be required.

The Society will continue to be involved in all cremation related matters as policy is formulated.

Coroners and Justice Bill

During the year the Working Group established by the government and on which the Society is represented continued its work on the further development and implementation of the government's proposed reforms of death certification in England and Wales. The Society has a particular interest in the proposals for the new position of Medical Examiner and coronial matters.

A Coroner and Justice Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 14th January 2009 and many aspects of the Bill received a positive response, including

  • improving the service to bereaved families, including the introduction of a Charter;
  • introduction of a national Chief Coroner to provide leadership to the coroner system;
  • the introduction of a new and more accessible appeal system involving the Chief Coroner;
  • the introduction of a nationwide team of independent Medical Examiners to scrutinise the causes of death reported on death certificates in cases not requiring a coroner's post mortem or inquest.

The Bill has gone through the Lords Report Stage and the Third Reading is scheduled for October 2009. It is hoped that the Bill will receive the Royal Assent and a new Coroners and Justice Act will come into effect by the end of the year.

Open Air Funeral Pyres

The Society's Secretary attended, as an observer, the Judicial Review hearing at the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Royal Courts of Justice, on 24th, 25th and 26th March 2009 in connection with the above. The principal parties consisted of the claimant, Mr Davender Kumar Ghai, the defendant, Newcastle City Council and an interested party, Secretary of State for Justice. The presiding Judge was Mr Justice Cranston.

This case has generated significant interest within the cremation movement. If judgement was found in favour of the claimant, i.e. that open air funeral pyres are not unlawful, then this would have far reaching repercussions for the cremation movement.

The full text of Mr Justice Cranstan's Judgement on this case [Ghai v Newcastle City Council (Ramgharia Gurdwara, Hitchen and other intervening) [2009] EWHC 978 (Admin)] [Case No. CO/9067/2006] has been published in full. In summary Judge Cranstan found that "The prohibition on open-air funerals in Section 7 of the Cremation Act 1902 (CA 1902) and Regulation 13 of the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/2841) (CR 2008), is not contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention) or otherwise unlawful."

The claimant was given leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal and the hearing is scheduled to be heard during January 2010. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has been granted permission to formally intervene in the legal proceedings.


Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation

The CAMEO Steering Group met regularly during the year under review. The Society is a joint founder member of CAMEO and is represented on its Steering Group.

As a result of the 2008 CAMEO survey, involving 249 crematoria, the data collected and collated proved extremely useful to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) during regular discussions with CAMEO on the progress of the cremation movement towards meeting the 50% abatement target by 31st December 2012.

CAMEO has been successful in arranging a number of educational events as well as developing the Environmental Surcharge to assist cremation authorities in the funding of the installation of abatement plant or their participation in a burden sharing scheme. A CAMEO website has also been developed, (, as well as the promotion of the CAMEO brand.

As the deadline of 31st December 2012 for meeting the DEFRA 50% abatement target approaches it is recognised that CAMEO's existing role after that date needs to be reviewed. It is envisaged that its prime function will be to manage a burden sharing scheme and register other schemes that may be introduced and provided for under the government's Air Quality Notes. It will also be necessary for it to continue monitoring and reporting to DEFRA on the industry's progress on the installation and operation of abatement plant and also the use of the environmental surcharge.

In order to formulate plans for the future a small Working Group has been formed to carry out this task. The Society is represented on the Working Group.


Since the meeting held at the request of the Ministry of Justice in June 2009 to discuss with various interested parties, including the Society, Resomation as a process of disposal of the dead, it has been extremely reticent about the subject.

Despite being advised that the MoJ's legal representatives would work with policy colleagues to establish how Resomation fitted in to the regulatory framework, and also that the Ministry would work with their DEFRA colleagues to develop the right regulatory response, nothing further has been forthcoming. Resomation continues to generate much interest within the death care professions in this country and abroad. The process has already been accommodated under cremation legislation in some states in America and the first production units are starting to be manufactured in the UK for export to the United States.

The Resomation process has a number of benefits for the environment and the Society continues to press for clarification from the Ministry of Justice as to whether or not they regard the process as a form of cremation, in which event it could be accommodated under existing cremation law, or, if not, how it might be regulated under other suitable legislation. The Society would be happy to submit proposals in this connection. Whilst the position remains unclear there is a danger of Resomation being practised in a fragmented and poorly regulated manner without any national standard as presently exists for cremation.

A presentation entitled Resomation Update was given at the Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2009 from which it was clear that significant progress had been made in both the design and operation of Resomator equipment as well as the interest and acceptance of the process. The presentation is reproduced in Pharos International, Autumn 2009, Volume 75 Issue No. 3.

Joint Life Member Certificates

Last year following a review of the claims experience for this type of membership it was decided to release the reserve, out of which claims were settled, to the general fund. The claims experience during the year under review, whilst at a higher level than the previous year, is at a manageable level and justifies the action previously taken.

Office Move

During December 2008 the Society moved a major part of its operations to the first floor of Brecon House. With the exception of the work carried out by British Telecom the move went smoothly. The Society's staff are now able to work in a vastly improved, modern office environment.


Immediately following the move a new computer system was installed to replace existing equipment which was some seven years old. The installation went smoothly and the staff now have a reliable, modern system with which to work.

The next step in upgrading the Society's operations is the computerisation of the existing manual accounting system. It is the intention that this will be completed during the next financial year.

Associate Scheme

It has been a busy year for the Society and unfortunately it has not been possible to implement the new Associate Scheme as intended. However this matter remains a priority for the Society and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Brecon House and Staff

Messrs Watson Day, Chartered surveyors, act as the Society's property managers advising the Society, in its capacity as landlord, on all aspects of its responsibilities arising out of existing and emerging legislation, particularly with regard to health and safety issues. Necessary and appropriate risk assessments continue to be carried out and their recommendations implemented.

Whilst the property is maintained in good order, as it represents a significant investment for the Society, its own office area continues to be in need of redecoration and refurbishment but this has not been possible due to cash flow constraints. In the light of the Council's decision to sell Brecon House it continues to look for smaller premises, releasing funds for our charitable purposes. In the interim and following the expiration of two of the main tenants' leases the Society has, as previously reported earlier in this Report, moved to the first floor office which has been fully refurbished but has received little use since the work was carried out by the previous tenant. A dilapidations settlement has been agreed with the previous tenant of the ground floor office and refurbishment work will be completed during 2010. When completed this will provide the Society with letting opportunities.

The Council wishes to place on record its appreciation and gratitude for the hard and loyal work of all the staff team at Brecon House.


The Society will continue to consolidate its existing relationships with allied organisations as well as participating in discussions on cremation related topics on which it can speak with authority. It will co-operate with kindred organisations when the cause of cremation is being promoted and will at all times, through its interests in cremation companies, promote the practice of cremation to the highest standard with the public's interest uppermost.

It will continue to consolidate relationships already established with government departments and organisations including the Office for National Statistics, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Justice, Office of Fair Trading, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency, Review of Coroner Services, Burial and Cemeteries Advisory Group, British Standards Institute Committee FSW/1 (European Funeral Standard), the Human Tissue Authority and the Archbishops' Council of the Church of England. It will cultivate relationships with other government departments and organisations as appropriate and will continue to contribute to any Inquiries or Reviews that may be relevant to the cremation profession.

It will also continue to press government departments for appropriate recognition of Resomation as an adjunct to cremation together with its regulation so as to enable it to be practised in the UK.

Consolidation of Accounts

For some time the Council has felt that the costs of meeting the requirement to consolidate the accounts of its subsidiary with those of its own place a significant and unnecessary financial burden on the Society's finances. Also, contrary to its intention the consolidation exercise only confuses members and gives a misleading impression of the Society's financial activities. In view of this the Society will be seeking dispensation from the Charity Commission from the consolidation requirements.

Memorandum of Association

At the forthcoming Annual General Meeting there will be an item of Special Business to consider and if thought fit pass an Ordinary Resolution to amend the Society's Memorandum of Association by the insertion of new Clauses 5.3, 5.4 5.5 and 5.6 in order to regulate conflicts of interest as provided for under Section 175 Companies Act 2006.


In order to keep abreast of legislative developments as well as ensuring that the Council is fulfilling its statutory duties and responsibilities, the Secretary and Council Members have the opportunity to attend appropriate trustee training courses whenever possible. As a matter of routine new Trustees attend a training course providing an introduction to the duties and responsibilities of Charity Trustees. In addition all Council Members are provided with Briefing and Guidance Notes issued by its advisers Messrs Farrer & Co and also haysmacintyre in its publication "Charity Briefing". All Council Members have access to the Charity Commission's electronic version of its publication "Charity News" and are referred to it when any particular topic is addressed that may be of specific relevance to the Society.


The Charities Act 2006 became law on 8th November 2006. Not all of the Act’s provisions can be implemented at once. They will be phased in over a period of time. When they become effective and implementation is required the Society will comply as appropriate, guided by its professional advisers. The recent change in the Society’s constitution will ensure that it continues to meet the public benefit requirements provided for under the Act.


The Council has reviewed the reserves of the Society. This review encompassed the nature of the major income and expenditure streams, the need to match income and expenditure and the nature of the Society's reserves. The Society's principal sources of funds are incoming resources from charitable activities and income from Brecon House. The Council also considered the nature of the Society's assets which include the assets used directly for charitable purposes, the investment property and the investments in its subsidiary company and other cremation authorities. Resulting from this review, the Council came to the conclusion that reserves representing the investment property and the investments in the subsidiary company and other cremation authorities should be transferred to designated funds.

Note 20 to the financial statements shows that the deficit on the Society's Unrestricted accumulated fund at 31 March 2009 amounted to £115,922. The equivalent figure for the Group was a surplus of £1,346,167. The Council recognises that the Society no longer has sufficient free reserves to underpin the smooth running of the charity and its normal activities and continues to explore ways in which this can be addressed, including the sale of Brecon House and downsizing to a smaller property as well as methods for generating a higher level of regular income.

As a temporary measure the Society effected a loan facility with its subsidiary for up to £140K. This facility is available for a maximum term of five years and is secured by a fixed charge over specific investment assets of the Society.


The Council regularly reviews the major risks which the Society may be exposed to with regard to its practical operations. During the period under review the Council has carried out a comprehensive risk assessment exercise identifying the likelihood of any occurrence, the severity of its impact and any mitigating factors that should be taken into account. This exercise is being implemented on an on-going basis and is reviewed regularly. The Society maintains Directors and Officers Liability Insurance cover for all its Council Members.


In the opinion of the Directors of the London Cremation Company, the market value of the freehold and leasehold land and buildings of the subsidiary is considerably in excess of the net book value of £3,334,235. In the absence of a professional valuation of all the properties the Society's Council is unable to quantify that excess.


Having taken professional advice the Council has decided to retain the value of the property at its present level of £700,000 (2008:£700,000). The Council believes this to be a fair market value at 31st March 2009 in the light of existing open market rents and the remaining term of an existing lease.


The Directors of the Society (who are honorary and known as Members of the Council) who served during the financial year, were as follows:-

The Right Honourable The Earl Grey
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp
H. Thomas C.B.E.
S.R.G. White
Professor G.F. Woodroffe
A. D. McCarthy
Professor H. J. Grainger (Elected 27th November 2008)

On 19th February 2009 Revd. Dr. Peter Jupp resigned as Chairman of the Society after a term of seven years. The Council wishes to record their sincere thanks for all the work that he carried out during his term as Chairman, and in particular for the material progress that the Society achieved during this period. Revd. Dr. P C Jupp continues to serve as a Council Member.

Following the resignation of Revd. Dr. P C Jupp the Council unanimously elected Mr H Thomas CBE to succeed him as Chairman.

Harvey was appointed to the Council in October 1983 and is the longest serving Council Member. He is an international public relations consultant, specialising in corporate and personal communication including providing training to diplomats and political leaders in many countries. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Chartered Institute of Journalists, Harvey was given the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) Award by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990.


Since the resignation of the Honorary Treasurer in November 2007 the Society has been searching for a suitable replacement and anticipates being in a position to make an appointment in the near future.

The Society's Council comprises highly qualified members prominent in their individual fields of expertise. Nevertheless the Council will continue to increase its expertise and widen its influence wherever possible.

The undermentioned members of the Council were also Directors of the Society's subsidiary, The London Cremation Company plc., from which they received total emoluments of £66,800 during the year ended 31 March 2009 (2008:£ 61,200).

The Right Honourable The Earl Grey
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp
H. Thomas C.B.E.

The interest of members of the Council, including family interests, in the shares of the subsidiary at the beginning and end of the year, were as follows:

  Ordinary Shares Preference Shares
  31/3/09 1/4/08 31/3/09 1/4/08
The Right Honourable The Earl Grey     100 100
H. Thomas C.B.E. 1,182 1,182 1,000 1,000
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp     100 100
Non-Beneficial Trustee Interests:        
The Right Honourable The Earl Grey 220,000 220,000    

The Right Honourable The Earl Grey is a Trustee of the Golders Green Foundation.


So far as the Council is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the group's auditors are unaware. Additionally, the Council has taken all the necessary steps that Council Members ought to have taken as Directors in order to make themselves aware of all relevant audit information and to establish that the group's auditors are aware of that information.


A resolution will be submitted to the forthcoming Annual General Meeting that Messrs. Larkings, Chartered Accountants, be re-appointed Auditors of The Society.


Date: 5th November 2009
R.N. Arber, Secretary