Annual Report
Year Ended 31st March 2012

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, submit their annual report and the audited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2012. 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 and deliver public benefit 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 and 26th November 2009. The Council is elected by the members of the Society. It currently has eight 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 gain of the Group for the year was £305,404 as compared to a gain of £2,273,799 for the previous year.


The Society's new investment portfolios, established from the proceeds of the sale of the Society's minority shareholding in Kent County Crematorium Plc are managed by PSigma Investment Management Ltd and reviewed regularly. A formal review presentation is made to the Council at least once during the year by the Investment Fund Manager.


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 £593,058. In the previous year the profit before taxation amounted to £1,261,725. The Company carried out 5,870 cremations during the year, an increase of 347 on the previous year.

Golders Green Foundation

The excess for the year amounted to £1,352 (2011: £5,999). A £5,000 donation was made during the year to Friends of the Elderly (2011: Nil).

Consolidation of Accounts

As reported in the past the Council considers the preparation of consolidated accounts confusing to members and gives a misleading impression of the Society's financial activities. Compliance with consolidation requirements incurs the Society in additional costs. Until the Society is given dispensation from these requirements the Council's views remain unaltered.



The Society's Archives are stored at the University of Durham's Palace Green Library (Special Collections Section). They are well maintained by the library staff and continue to be regularly consulted by scholars.

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, particularly legislative developments, 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 continues to be accessible via the Public Archive Section of the UK Web Archiving Consortium at

Planned changes to the website in order to modernise it and make it more user-friendly will be carried out during 2013.


Directory of Crematoria

Containing detailed information about crematoria in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, the Society's Directory of Crematoria continues to be the definitive publication of its kind. Sales have held up well and the publication continues to be an important source of income and promotional material for the Society.

The comprehensive nature of its content, ease of use and annual updating ensures that demand remains strong. Information collected as part of the annual updating exercise continues to provide a valuable source of information for government and kindred cremation organisations with whom the Society co-operates. Presently containing details of 270 crematoria in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, all entries are provided free of charge. It also provides vital information to those planning new cremation facilities.

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

Pharos International continued to be the leading subscription publication in Great Britain's cremation movement as well as being one of the leading cremation publications worldwide with copies presently circulating in approximately 40 countries.

As anticipated in the last Report of the Council, due to the deteriorating economic climate Pharos has not been absolved from the effects of cut backs, mainly from advertisers who have found it necessary to operate on restricted budgets. This has resulted in an expected fall in advertising income. Despite this Pharos still operates at a net surplus which is a significant achievement as it is the only subscription-only magazine published by a national cremation organisation.

With the economic climate unlikely to improve in the near future reduced advertising income is expected to continue. Changes in postage rates, particularly for overseas mail, will contribute to increased production costs. Attention will therefore focus on reducing these as far as practical.

Despite the foregoing, due to the quality of its production and content, which is designed to be of interest to a wide section of the death care industry, Pharos is best placed to retain its prominence in the market.

British Crematoria in Public Profile

The results of the British Crematoria in Public Profile survey carried out in 2011 by the Department of Theology, University of Durham, under the supervision of Professor Douglas Davies, Professor in the Study of Religion, were outlined and compared with the previous survey carried out in 1995 during a presentation given by Professor Davies at the Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2012. Attention was drawn to some similarities and differences over this period of time, highlighting issues of crematoria personnel and grief, and adding material of contemporary British concerns over death reflected in some other recent surveys.

The Society has provided considerable input into the research which will be recognised when the results are published in a revised updated version of British Crematoria in Public Profile expected in the near future.

The Architecture of Sir Ernest George

The year saw the publication of The Architecture of Sir Ernest George by Professor Hilary J Grainger, Member of the Council of the Cremation Society of Great Britain, Dean of Academic Development and Quality Assurance at the London College of Fashion, University of London and Chair of the Victorian Society. Professor Grainger, an architectural historian with a particular interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is the leading authority on both the late Victoria domestic architect Sir Ernest George and the architecture of British crematoria. She is Co-Investigator in a team, including Society Council Members Mr Stephen White and Revd. Dr. Peter Jupp, based at Durham University, funded by the Leverhulme Trust Research Award, writing the History of Cremation in Modern Scotland.

Sir Ernest George designed Britain's foremost crematorium, Golders Green in London, which is owned and operated by the Society's subsidiary the London Cremation Company plc. An extensive chapter is devoted to George's work on Golders Green. The publication is an outstanding piece of work and has received much critical acclaim.

Rededication of Plaque to Dr William Price

On 17th September 2011 The Right Honourable The Earl Grey, the Society's President; Roger Arber its Secretary and Council Member Revd. Dr. Peter Jupp were present at an unveiling ceremony to mark the rededication of the original plaque marking the site of Dr William Price's former home in Llantrisant. It was exactly 64 years to the day that the original plaque was unveiled by Penelopen Price to the memory of her father. On that occasion representatives from the Society were also present.

It was as a result of the actions of Dr Price in cremating the body of his five month old son on East Caerlan, Llantrisant, causing widespread fury and controversy which led to his arrest and much publicised Crown Court trial. He was acquitted of the offence which led to the passing, by Parliament, of the Cremation Act 1902 which is the founding act from which all subsequent cremation legislation emanates.

The Society's President addressed the crowd at the unveiling of the new plaque with the following words:

  • "Mr Mayor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
  • It is an enormous pleasure for me, as President of the Cremation Society of Great Britain to be invited with your Mayor to unveil and rededicate this plaque in honour of a most remarkable man.
  • It is safe for me to say, with conviction and without question, Dr Price was a unique pioneer with a total belief that cremation was the obvious way forward and, by his brave selfless act, he proved it in the only way he was able, by deed.
  • By his strong convictions and beliefs he paved the way for the cremation movement to become established.
  • What Dr Price did was an outstanding brave act. Because of this he opened the way for the Cremation Society of Great Britain to conduct its first cremation at Woking in March 1885.
  • The number of cremations over the years has steadily increased. For example, in 1947 the cremation rate was 10.5%. Now in 2011 the rate stands at a steady 73%.
  • I am very pleased to see we are joined here today by some of my colleagues from the Council of the Cremation Society of Great Britain and I am looking forward to the rest of today's proceedings.
  • My thanks to you all."

Annual Conference 2012 (Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2012)

Continuing the success of previous Cremation and Burial Conferences and Exhibitions the 2012 event was held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel, during 2nd to 4th July 2012. The event was 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.

There was a good attendance with a diverse programme designed to be of interest to all sections of the death care profession. Legislative issues were covered with papers on The New PG5/2(12) Guidance Notes for Crematoria by Andrew Mallalieu, Vice President Technical, Facultatieve Technologies; Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011 by Dr C George M Fernie, President, Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians; Current Changes in Burial & Cremation Law - A New Approach by Ron Dunn, Dunn & Co and Graham Reddie, Solicitor (Retired), Death Certification Update by Paul Ader, working with the DH Death Certification Programme; Update from the Ministry of Justice on Coroner, Cremation and Burial Matters by Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremations & Inquiries Team, Ministry of Justice and Cremation Act 1902 s.5 (the 'distance' or 'radius' clause): The Balloon and String Theory of Statutory Interpretation by Stephen White, Member of the Council, The Cremation Society of Great Britain.

Social and cultural issues were covered by Revisiting British Crematoria in Public Profile by Professor Douglas Davies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham; What happens if you cannot afford a funeral?
Reviewing the Funeral Payment Scheme
by Dr Kate Woodthorpe, Lecturer in Sociology, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath; Natural Burial and The Church of England (film), accompaniment and discussion by Professor Douglas Davies and Spirituality in Contemporary Funerals by Professor Margaret Holloway, Professor of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Spirituality Studies, University of Hull.

Practical operational aspects of cremation and burial were covered by presentations on CAMEO: Implementation Arrangements for 2013 by Brendan Day, Bereavement Services Manager, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council; Green Flag - Its Application and Impact by Michele Walde, Judges Learning and Development Manager and Making Savings and Increasing Income Through Low Carbon Energy by Adam Davidson, Director, Walker Morris.

Design and architectural matters were dealt with by a paper entitled Wyre Forest - A Move away from Tradition by Steve Gant, General Manager, Dignity Crematoria & Cemeteries.

Future developments were addressed in a presentation on New Frontiers in End of Life Celebration by Tom Walkinshaw, Founder and CEO of Alba Orbital.

Finally in addition to the ever popular Presidents' Panel which this year included Presidents from the British Institute of Embalmers, Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, National Association of Funeral Directors and Co-operative Funeral Services Manager Association, there was a Panel Discussion on Issues Facing Burial and Cremation Authorities. Chaired by Harvey Thomas CBE, the panel members were Alan Daws, Consultant, Funeral Furnishing Managers Association; Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremations & Inquiries Team, Ministry of Justice; Steve Pearce, President of the National Association of Funeral Directors and Rick Powell, Secretary of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and Vice-President of the International Cremation Federation.

A post-conference evaluation survey showed that 88% of those who responded felt that the three day conference represented value for money. The "joint" event continues to be financially successful for the Society.

With the likelihood of a continuing difficult economic environment it is important that the conference offers a competitive delegate's fee and quality speakers on subjects that are relevant to those working in the death care industry.

The 2013 Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon, between 1st and 3rd July.

The Cremation Society Symposia

The Society was founded in 1874 to promote cremation as an alternative to burial. Today approximately 74% of funerals in the United Kingdom involve cremation. However funeral customs and procedures evolve and develop in terms of choice, cost, environment and ethics - and differ according to the varied contributions of funeral directors, crematorium staff, clergy and celebrants.

In view of this the Society's Council decided to hold the Symposium "Cremation Matters", the first in an annual series in which the Cremation Society hosts an open forum for both the general public and funeral service organisations to focus on issues of common interest. These are intended to be exclusively Cremation Society events separate from the annual Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition which has now become well established in its own right. The first Symposium was held in the newly restored Anglican Chapel at Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, established in 1839. It was also the site of the original Arnos Vale crematorium, now decommissioned but retained as a museum feature.

The papers presented and discussed during the Symposium consisted of the following:

  • "The History of Arnos Vale Cemetery and Crematorium" by Dave Napier, Trustee, Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust
  • "'Heaven Swallowed the Smoke': The Architecture of Arnos Vale Crematorium in Context" by Professor Hilary J Grainger, Member of the Council of the Cremation Society; Chair, The Victorian Society; Dean, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • "Contemporary Cremation Issues" by Steve Gant, General Manager of Dignity Crematoria and Cemeteries
  • "Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel: The first Crematorium in the South-West" by Stephen White, Member of the Council of the Cremation Society, Visiting Lecturer Cardiff Law School, University of Wales

Further upcoming symposia will be advised as appropriate.

Death in Modern Scotland, 1855-1955: Beliefs, Attitudes and Practices

During the year the Society contributed the sum of £1,000 towards the funding of this conference which is inviting those who are researching death from whatever disciplinary perspective to offer papers whose total range will illuminate 100 years
of death in modern Scotland. These 100 years began with the passing of the Registration Act and the Burial Grounds (Scotland) Act in 1855 and end with the opening of Daldowie Crematorium in 1955. The conference will take place between
1st and 3rd February 2013 in Edinburgh.

Burial and Cremation Advisory Group (Burial and Cemeteries Advisory Group) (Ministry of Justice)

Despite the Group's efforts during the year there has been little material progress in achieving its objectives, especially in respect of burial law reform. The government has decided to defer a number of matters, keeping them under review or simply deciding not to take them further due to the lack of departmental resources or insufficient time in the parliamentary timetable.

In November 2011 the Group agreed that its remit would henceforth include cremation and the name was accordingly changed from Burial and Cemeteries Advisory Group to Burial and Cremation Advisory Group. As the Cremation Society's primary purpose is to promote cremation, its representation on the Burial and Cemeteries Advisory Group had been primarily to maintain a watching brief. Following the change of title it can play a more active role.

Since the change of name cremation related matters such as Guidance on the Disposal of Cremated Remains have been discussed. Many members are still disappointed that the Minister for Burials had been unable to deal with the Advice made to him by the Chair of BCAG, particularly concerning the Group's recommendations on Resomation® and re-use of old graves. This disappointment was expressed to the Chair, Ms Bernstein, during the CBCE 2012.

Holding Over

Following adverse publicity in the press regarding an instance of "holding over" a meeting, facilitated by the Ministry of Justice, of stakeholders comprising of representatives from the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC), the Cremation Society of Great Britain (CSGB), the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA) and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) was held to discuss the matter. The prime purpose was to discuss and agree in what circumstances holding over would be acceptable and how this should be facilitated. Working closely over a considerable period of time a set of "Guiding Principles" was developed for cremation authorities in situations where holding over has to be considered.

The Society is not in favour of holding over believing that cremation, whenever possible, should be carried out the same day as the funeral service. However it does recognise that this may not always be possible due to exceptional circumstances, i.e. equipment breakdown. Nevertheless it believes that there must be transparency at all times and the applicant for cremation must always give their written permission to the possibility of cremation not taking place on the same day as the funeral service.

Apart from being of assistance to cremation authorities who found themselves in a difficult position the production of Guiding Principles is a good example of what can be achieved when all stakeholders work together.

The Guidelines have been published and widely circulated throughout the cremation and funeral directing profession.

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 industry. The Society is represented on the Council which meets regularly twice a year. It takes an active interest in the work of the Council and contributes regular reports on activities within the cremation movement and particularly the work of the Cremation Society.


Amended Guidance for Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008

The Society was a principal consultee during the consultation process undertaken by the Ministry of Justice (Ministry) culminating in the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008 which came into full effect on 1st February 2009. During 2010 the Society, along with other stakeholders, was consulted by the Ministry in order to review the progress of the Regulations and in particular some technical changes that it hoped to introduce. At the end of the consultation period all responses were analysed and discussed within the Ministry with a view to formulating a way forward.

Unfortunately, they were unable to take any action due to a change of government and other priorities. However in February 2012 the Ministry of Justice issued updated guidance notes for the Regulations for Cremation Authority and Crematorium Mangers, Funeral Directors, Medical Practitioners and Medical Referees. For the most part the changes are minor. However the guidance has been expanded for Medical Practitioners in terms of who may sign Cremation Forms 4 and 5 as well as where Cremation Form 5 may not be needed.

An appended list of potentially hazardous implants accompanies the guidance notes to help applicants, funeral directors and crematoria to identify those which may need to be removed prior to cremation. However the actual removal of any potentially hazardous implant remains an operational matter for which the Ministry of Justice cannot provide guidance.

The Society continues to be a principal consultee in all matters of cremation legislation.

Coroner Reform: Coroners and Justice Act 2009

The Lord Chief Justice, following consultation with the Lord Chancellor, appointed His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC as the first Chief Coroner of England and Wales in September 2012.

The Ministry of Justice, Coroner Reform Team, Access to Justice, Justice Policy Group, are currently working on plans for the implementation of the Chief Coroners Statutory Powers and other reforms to the coroner system contained within Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, with a view to bringing these into force during 2013.

They will also be working with the Chief Coroner on plans for the new Bereavement Organisations Committee, which is intended to be established once the Chief Coroner is in his post.

Death Certification Reforms

The full implementation of the proposed new medical examiner service scheduled for October 2013 has now been delayed until April 2014. The extension to the timetable is to allow more work to be carried out to demonstrate that the new system can operate effectively in a range of settings, in hospital and the community, in urban and rural areas. Also to extend the work to accommodate the particular complexities and sensitivities of neo-natal and child deaths.

Cremation Act 1902 Section 5

A principal objective of the Society is the promotion of high ethical standards which includes compliance with the law. During the year the Society's attention was drawn to a development which it considers would be in breach of Section 5 of the Cremation Act 1902 (the Act). Further, that the planned use of the development will lead to the commission of an offence under Section 8 of the Act. In view of this the Society has reported the matter to the appropriate authority for their consideration.

At this juncture it would be inappropriate to report further or in greater detail until the authority concerned has expressed its views on the situation.


Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation (CAMEO)

The Society is a joint founder member of CAMEO and is represented on its Steering Group. The Group met regularly during the period under review. Specimen wordings of the proposed Memorandum and Articles of Association of CAMEO Ltd together with those of the National Burden Sharing Scheme Rules were circulated at the Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2012. Following a period of consultation on these documents, during which the Society commented extensively, they have now been finalised and adopted and CAMEO Ltd has been formally incorporated as a registered company.

CAMEO Ltd (Company) consists of a Board of Directors comprised of two representatives from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and one representative from the Cremation Society of Great Britain.

Members of the company consist of two representatives from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities and one representative from the Cremation Society of Great Britain.

The results of a survey carried out by CAMEO on the installation of abatement plant throughout the United Kingdom and submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) demonstrate that the 50% abatement target for the industry will be achieved and exceeded. These figures were corroborated from data collected separately by DEFRA during their own research.

In the light of the data collected CAMEO Ltd would be writing to the relevant DEFRA Minister, Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Resource Management, the Local Environment and Environmental Science, requesting that the 2003 baseline for the calculation of cremation numbers for abatement purposes, together with the exclusion of abated cremations carried out by crematoria established post 2006 were now justified in being removed.

Towards the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013 it is the intention to hold a suitable publicity event at Westminster, hopefully involving the Minister, to announce the achievement of meeting and exceeding the 50% target through industry self-regulation. Crematoria participating in CAMEO will have to record abated and unabated cremations carried out during the period 1st January to 31st December 2013 with actual trading in abated and unabated cremations taking place during the start 2014. There will be a great deal of work for CAMEO to undertake during this period in ensuring that the scheme operates smoothly and resolving unforeseen problems. Some difficulties may be experienced as a result of circumstances and delays outside the control of CAMEO.


Whenever possible the Society continues to take the opportunity to draw attention to the potential benefits of the process of Resomation® as an adjunct to cremation. This has been done throughout the year through articles in Pharos International, papers and discussions at Cremation and Burial Conferences and Exhibitions and by drawing attention to articles appearing in the media on the subject.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) continues to hold the view that alkaline hydrolysis does not constitute the burning of human remains and therefore falls outside the current regulatory framework. However they have recognised that this does not mean that the process is necessarily unlawful, but that it must comply with environmental legislation.

The intended "Call for Evidence" on alternatives to cremation, including alkaline hydrolysis, that was to be part of a full public consultation in order to seek views both on the technical aspects of this form of disposal as well as what the public reaction might be to this way of disposing of the dead, has still not been carried out. From the MoJ's comments this is unlikely to take place in the foreseeable future.

A number of Resomators are now in operation in the United States. The respective State laws for cremation have been amended to accommodate the process of alkaline hydrolysis.

There is clearly an increasing interest in Resomation® and the Society continues to emphasise the need for the regulatory authorities for cremation to be aware of this. This will enable the existing legislative and regulatory framework for cremation to be relatively easily adapted to accommodate Resomation® should there be attempts to operate the process in the UK. It would ensure, like cremation, that there is a national standard and ideally the Ministry of Justice should be proactive and not reactive to events as this is likely to lead to a fragmented and poorly regulated use of the Resomation® process.

There can be no doubt about the increasing interest in and acknowledgement of the benefits of Resomation® and in the near future we should expect to see increasing pressure on the government to recognise this and take appropriate action. The Society would be willing to assist in this connection in any way that it can.


Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association

In January 2012 the Secretary had the opportunity to meet with the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association during her visit to London. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the work of their organisations and the future development of the cremation movements in their respective countries. The meeting also provided the opportunity to consolidate the Society's long-standing association with the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association.

International Cremation Federation - 75th Anniversary

The International Cremation Federation (ICF) celebrates its 75th Anniversary during 2012. To commemorate the event the ICF published a "Handbook on Cremation". The publication, written in English and includes contributions from authors around the world expert in the funeral and cremation industry. The Society's Secretary and former Secretary-General of the ICF (1990-2003) contributed to the publication with a chapter entitled Development of Cremation and Statistical
Global Cremation Data
describing the development of cremation internationally accompanied with global statistics to illustrate this.

Founder Member Certificates

Claims under this type of membership which are settled from the general fund are now negligible, there being only one during the past year, and are easily managed by the Society. Whilst claims are expected to cease in the near future, due to the age structure of the membership, the amount payable per claim is expected to increase, although still well within manageable limits.


The Society's database software operates satisfactorily and is updated when required. Appropriate software maintenance and support contracts are in place in order to minimise downtime in the event of a malfunction.

For some time it has been the intention to move the Society's manual accounting function to a computerised format and this has now been completed satisfactorily.

Associate Scheme

The introduction of a new Association Scheme is a priority and remains the main outstanding task for the Society to complete in the immediate future. This will be addressed as soon as practicable but the Society's limited staff resources will inevitably hamper the work involved.

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 regularly and their recommendations implemented.

The property continues to be maintained in good order as it represents a significant investment for the Society. Leasing opportunities continue to be explored for some of the accommodation which having been refurbished to a good standard is ready for immediate occupancy. Despite this there has been limited interest shown due to the prevailing economic climate and an excess of vacant leasehold office accommodation in the Maidstone area.

For the present no refurbishment or redecoration works will be carried out to the remaining accommodation.


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 and other methods of disposal which appear to the Society to be superior to cremation are 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 Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, British Standards Institute, Burial and Cremation Advisory Group, Council of British Funeral Services, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Environment Agency, the Human Tissue Authority, International Cremation Federation, Ministry of Justice, Office of Fair Trading, Office for National Statistics, Public Health Directorate of the Scottish Government and the Review of Coroner Services. 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.


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 have the opportunity to 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 also 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 2011 came into effect on 13th March 2012 and sets out how all charities in England and Wales are to be registered and regulated. It replaces most of the Charities Act 1992, 1993 and 2006 and all of the Recreational Charities Act 1958. The Act is intended to make the law easier to understand by replacing four Acts of Parliament with one. The Society complies with the new Act, guided by its professional advisers.


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 investment income, 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.

Note 20 to the financial statements shows the surplus in the Society's Unrestricted accumulated general fund at 31 March 2012 amounted to £1,575,196. The equivalent figure for the Group was a surplus of £5,060,987. Unlike the past, the Society now has sufficient free reserves to underpin the immediate needs of the charity to ensure its smooth running and the carrying out of its normal activities.

The Council regularly reviews various possible methods for generating a higher level of income.


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 commenced 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 implement on an on-going basis and is reviewed regularly in order to maintain an up to date Risk Register. The Society maintains Directors and Officers Liability Insurance cover for all of its Council Members and Secretary.


In the opinion of the Directors of The London Cremation Company plc, the market value of the freehold and leasehold land and buildings of the subsidiary is considerably in excess of the net book value of £3,887,033 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 considers it prudent to retain the value of the property at its present level of £500K (2011: £500K). The Council believes this to be a fair market value at 31st March 2012 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 year, were as follows:-

The Right Honourable The Earl Grey
H. Thomas C.B.E
Professor H.J. Grainger
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp
A.D. McCarthy
M. Stronach
S.R.G. White
Professor G.F. Woodroffe

The Society's Council comprises highly qualified members prominent in their individual fields of expertise. Nevertheless the Council will continue to increase its expertise in order to 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 £71,500 during the year ended 31st March 2012 (2011:£67,000).

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
  31/3/12 1/4/11 31/3/12 1/4/11
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: 31 October 2012
R.N. Arber, Secretary

UK Crematoria Survey 2012