Annual Report
Year Ended 31st March 2013

The Cremation Society of Great Britain

Report of the Council

It is with great regret that we have to commence this Report by recording the death, on 10th September 2013, of The Rt Hon The Earl Grey who served as the Society's President since 1992. His funeral took place at Golders Green Crematorium on 15th October.

He was a great ambassador for both the Cremation Society and the UK cremation movement as was evident by the many national and international tributes recorded at his funeral. He will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife Stephanie, the Dowager Countess Grey, to whom we extend our condolences.

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 seven members and met five 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. Mr H Thomas CBE was appointed a Trustee during the year under review.

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 £723,207 as compared to a gain of £305,404 for the previous year.


The Society's investment portfolios 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 £1,045,353. In the previous year the profit before taxation amounted to £593,058. The Company carried out 6,218 cremations during the year, an increase of 348 on the previous year.

Golders Green Foundation

The excess for the year amounted to £6,487 (2012: £1,352). No donations were made during the year.

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

It has not been possible to carry out the planned changes to the structure of the website during the year under review and these will now be commenced during the 2013/14 financial year.


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. Despite the economic climate sales have held up satisfactorily 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 271 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 44 countries.

As mentioned 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 reduced level of 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.

Until there is a material uplift in the economic climate 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 controlling these as far as possible.

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 continues to retain its prominence in the market.

What You Should Know About Cremation Leaflet

The current version of the Society's leaflet " What You Should Know about Cremation" was produced some time ago and is in need of revision. A sub-committee is presently working on a comprehensive review of the document.

Annual Conference 2013 (Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2013)

The Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2013 event was held at the Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon during 1st to 3rd July 2013 and continued the success of this annual event. It 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.

Despite the economic climate 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 Scottish Death Certification by Gareth Brown, Head of Blood, Organ Donation, Death and Sexual Health, Scottish Government and Update from the Ministry of Justice on Coroner, Cremation and Burial Matters by Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremation & Inquiries Team, Ministry of Justice.

Social and cultural issues were covered by Is this the worst time to be bereaved? by Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive Officer, Cruse; Making Death Visible: The Future Cemetery Project by Dr John Troyer, Deputy Director, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath; The Natural Death Handbook 5th Edition and the Association of Natural Burial Grounds by Rosie Inman-Cook, Manager, Natural Death Centre and Association of Natural Burial Grounds and Tommy's - Support for Mums and Dads who have lost their baby by Beckie Lang, Health Campaigns Manager, Tommy's, the Baby Charity.

Practical and operational aspects of cremation and burial were covered by presentations on CAMEO: What you should be doing now by Brendan Day, Service Manager, Registration and Business Excellence, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council; A Coffin Standard for Cremation by David Crampton, President, Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers' Association; The Flexible Application of Memorial Safety Guidance by Ron Dunn, Dunn & Co; The changes to BS8415 and how they might affect you by Professor Stuart Moy, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton; It could happen to you - Business Continuity Plans by Frederick Gentile MBE, Risk Management Executive, Willis UK Retail and Reuse of Graves in London by Gary Burkes, Superintendent and Registrar, City of London Cemetery and Crematorium.

Historical and architectural matters were dealt with by papers entitled Eccentric - The Life of Dr William Price by Dean Powell, Journalist, Author and Broadcaster; and a joint presentation commemorating The 125th Anniversary of the Scottish Cremation Society and the Establishment of Maryhill Crematorium by Revd. Dr. Peter Jupp (The Scottish Cremation Society and Maryhill Crematorium (1893)) and Professor Hilary Grainger (James Chalmers 'A Scheme of Cremation for Scotland': Glasgow Maryhill).

The international perspective and emerging technology was provided by a presentation on Resomation© - An Update from the Working USA Installations by Sandy Sullivan, Managing Director, Resomation Ltd.

Finally in addition to the ever popular Presidents’ Panel which this year included Presidents from the British Institute of Embalmers, Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association, National Association of Funeral Directors, and National Association of Memorial Masons, there was a Panel Discussion on Issues Facing Burial and Cremation Authorities. Chaired by Harvey Thomas CBE, the panel members were Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremation & Inquiries Team, Ministry of Justice; David Crampton, President, Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association; Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive Officer, Cruse and Dr John Troyer, Deputy Director, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath.

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.

In view of the positive delegate feedback the 2014 Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition will again be held at the Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon, between 7th and 9th July. The full delegate's fee will be held at the 2013 level.

Conference Bursary

In pursuit of its aim of "advancing the public education in the practice and ethics of cremation" the Council decided to offer bursaries for attendance at CBCE events. The bursaries cover the Conference fee and accommodation for the three nights at the Conference and include a year's complimentary subscription to Pharos International. Applications are invited from anyone who has not worked in the cremation industry within the previous 12 months. One bursary was awarded for attendance at the Conference in July 2013 to a very appreciative candidate. The Council has judged the bursary scheme a success and proposes to repeat the offer next year.

The Cremation Society Symposia

Blackley Crematorium was chosen as the site for the Society's second Symposium on 30 October 2013. Its design won an architectural award in 1959 and its model influenced several important new crematoria in England and Scotland in the 1960s. A fascinating guided tour by Mr Dominic Lunn, Customer Service and Compliance Head Officer, Blackley Crematorium was followed by Professor Hilary Grainger's illuminating analysis of the design and its national effects. Mr Colin Rickman, UK Business Development and Standards Manager, The Co-operative Funeralcare gave a wide ranging and challenging survey of the contemporary issues in cremation practice and of the opportunities and problems for the future as the cremation movement addresses the developing needs of behaved families. Father Ian Delinger of the Diocese of Warrington and Chester University gave the fourth presentation: the findings of the Diocese's survey of contemporary funeral services, including interviews with bereaved families, clergy and celebrants and funeral directors and crematorium staff. A main theme was the growing choice by bereaved families for personalised and life-centred funerals.

The Council was very grateful to these four experienced speakers for their role in a thought-provoking Symposium.

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

Death in modern Scotland, 1855-1955: beliefs, attitudes and practices was the theme of a conference organised by a team led by the Revd Dr Peter C. Jupp at New College, University of Edinburgh, 1 - 3 February 2013. The conference was sponsored by New College, the Cremation Society of Great Britain and Edinburgh Crematorium Ltd, the last two bodies each making £1,000 grants to the Conference. A selection of papers is to be published in 2014. Co-edited by Dr Jupp and Dr Susan Buckham, the contributors include Mr Stephen White and Professor Hilary J. Grainger whose plenary address was entitled, 'Designs on Death: the architecture of Scottish crematoria, 1896-1955'. The Society's Council, having considered this conference a success, has voted £1,000 towards the support of the successor conference, 'Death in Scotland, from the medieval to the modern: beliefs, attitudes and practices' at New College, 31 January - 2 February 2014.

Symposium on Woodland Burial

'The Theology of Cremation' was the title of a paper by Revd Dr Peter Jupp at a symposium at Durham University on 12 April 2013. The symposium, organised by Professor Douglas Davies, concerned 'Woodland Burial'. Professor Davies is a former member of the Cremation Society's Council.

Architecture and Design

During the period under review Professor Grainger gave a number of lectures and presented papers on the architectural influences and design on crematoria in addition to those already referred to elsewhere in this report.

January 19 2013         West Midlands Region Victorian Society Lecture 'The Early Architectural Expression of Cremation: Perry Barr Crematorium in Context'.

1-3 February 2013      Cremation in Scotland Conference Edinburgh University Keynote Lecture ‘Designs on Death: The Architecture of Scottish Crematoria 1895 – 1955’

February 11 2013        Victorian Society, West Yorkshire Region, AGM, Leeds Lecture ‘The Architectural Expression of Cremation: Lawnswood Crematorium in Context’

April 16 2013              Lecture to MA Landscape Architecture Students, Writtle College, Chelmsford Crematoria Landscapes: A New Landscape for Mourning’

June 21 2013               St John’s Oxford University ‘Stylistic ‘Dead Ends’ Fresh Perspectives on British Architecture Between the World Wars. Conference paper; ‘The Architectural Expression of Cremation in Interwar Britain’.

5-7 September 2013    Death Dying and Disposal Symposium 11 The Open University. Conference paper; ‘Framing Grief’ Architectural and Landscape in Scottish Crematoria 1955-1975’.

25-28 September 2013  6th Dying and Death in 18-21 century Europe, Conference paper; University of Alba Iulia, Romania ‘James Chalmers ‘A Scheme of Cremation for Scotland’: Glasgow Maryhill

30 October 2013        Symposia Series ‘Cremation Matters’ Manchester (Cremation Society) paper: ‘The Drama of Death: Blackley Crematorium 1959’.

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

The Society's Council is represented on BCAG by the Revd Dr Peter Jupp (alternate: Mr Harvey Thomas C.B.E.). The Society is grateful to Ms Judith Bernstein (Chair) for her leadership of the Group and for her regular participation in the annual CBCE Conference. It is nevertheless a matter of regret that Government ministers have been unable to find time to make progress on regulations for resomation/bio-cremation as an alternative to cremation which the Society, following its revised Constitution, has pressed BCAG to do.

Council of British Funeral Services

The Society's Council is represented by Revd Dr Peter Jupp on the CBFS which meets twice yearly to discuss contemporary funeral issues. One particular focus this year has been coffin standards for cremation on which Mr David Crampton,
President of the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association, addressed the CBCE 2013.


Death Certification Reforms

The Society has been represented on the Department of Health's National Steering Group (now renamed the Death Certification Reforms Reference Group), which has been advising the Department on its implementation of reforms to the procedures for the certification of deaths following from Dame Janet Smith's Report into the deaths of Harold Shipman's patients and the Luce Report into Coroners. All deaths in England and Wales (but not in Scotland) will be "signed off" by a medical examiner or coroner and the present cremation forms (and medical referees) will be dispensed with and not replaced. The result - namely that the legal requirements for registering deaths should be sufficiently rigorous in all cases that no extra examinations or certificates are required before a body is cremated - is one that the Society has continuously advocated almost since its foundation.

The Department of Health's original date for having the reforms brought into operation was April 2012 but this has been put back four times and is now October 2014. It had been hoped that the new, but slightly different, Scottish system (which will use medical reviewers rather than medical examiners) would be brought into operation at the same time as the English and Welsh, but the coming into operation of the Scottish system has been put back to April 2015. The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 made provision for the appointment of medical examiners (not to be confused with cremation authority medical referees who will be abolished) and empowered the Secretary of State to make Regulations about how examiners are to discharge their functions.

The new system cannot be brought into force until the Regulations have been made and approved by Parliament and Regulations will not be laid before Parliament until there has been a public consultation on a draft of the Regulations. The Department planned to complete the consultation by April 2013 but as yet no Consultation Document has been issued to the public and two Reference Group meetings which were scheduled to take place during the year have been cancelled.

Two of the matters which have been exercising the Department and have contributed to the delay are (1) who is to appoint medical examiners and how can the independence of examiners be guaranteed?; and (2) should there be a fee payable for obtaining a certificate of registration of death and, if so, how should it be collected? The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 required Primary Trusts to appoint medical examiners, which would have made for obvious conflict of interests, but this was before Primary Trusts were abolished. Local authorities will appoint them now.

As for fees, many on the Steering Group had hoped that no fee would be payable for registering a death (as is presently the case). This would remove a financial disincentive to cremation. The Government has decided, however, that the new system must be wholly funded by fees and the fee will be the same whether a body is to be buried or cremated. The result is that the financial disincentive to cremation will be removed and the fee will probably be somewhat less than the cost of the present cremation certificates. How exactly fees will be collected is not yet wholly clear. In Scotland there will be no fee payable.

Scottish Government Consultation - Supplement to Society's Response

The Death Certification (Scotland) Act 2011 followed on from a Report by the Scottish Burial and Cremation Review Group and the Scottish Government's Consultation about (1) death certification and (2) the law relating to burial, cremation and cemeteries. The Scottish Government has not yet published its response to the latter item. The Society's Council responded to the Consultation in 2010 but events in 2011 caused it to submit a Supplement to its response. A company was converting a disused church in Scotland into a crematorium. It was within 50 yards of a road and within 200 yards of at least one neighbouring householder who objected to it. The Society believed that this was in breach of section 5 of the Cremation Act 1902. It took legal advice which confirmed this view. When the attention of the Local Authority which had granted planning permission for the crematorium was drawn to the breach, the Authority had replied that breach of section 5 was not a planning matter because the Cremation Act itself provided the mechanism for enforcing the section (a criminal prosecution). The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency likewise said that breach of section 5 was not a consideration for the Agency when deciding whether to grant an operating permit for a crematorium. The Scottish Government, when appealed to, supported the Authority's and the Agency's stances. This was disappointing, and is a surprise.

The Report of the Burial and Cremation Review Group had stated that observance of section 5 was a requirement of obtaining planning permission; the Scottish Government had echoed this in its Consultation Paper; and, in its response to the Consultation, the Local Authority had recommended that it should continue to be a requirement. In its Supplementary response the Society has asked that, if the embargo on building a crematorium within prohibited distances is to remain, planning law should be amended to make observance of these distances an invarying requirement of obtaining planning permission; that the distances should be measured from the walls of the room housing the cremator(s); and that it should be made clear that not only the building of a crematorium from scratch should come within the embargo but also the conversion (and incorporation) of any other structure to (and in) a crematorium. The Council is advised that every time a cremation takes place in this crematorium an offence against section 5 will be committed, and not only by the Cremation Authority; and it has written to the local procurator fiscal to draw attention to the position.


Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation (CAMEO)

In 2013, along with his two fellow Directors from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, the Society’s Chairman Mr H Thomas CBE has been ensuring that CAMEO issues in excess of 200 compliance certificates to members of the scheme throughout the UK. In addition they have been preparing for the trading which will commence in 2014. Firstly, successfully lobbying central government for the change in mercury abatement legislation, which took place in August 2013. Secondly, making adjustments to the scheme so that it will be able to provide a trading scheme in 2014 which will meet the needs of operators throughout the United Kingdom.


International Conference on 'Death and Dying in Europe, XVII-XXI Centuries'

Professor Hilary J. Grainger and the Revd Peter C. Jupp participated in the seventh international conference on 'Death and Dying in Europe, XVII-XXI centuries' organised by Dr Marius Rotar of the Department of History, University of Alba Iulia, Romania, 26-28 September 2013. They presented a pair of papers on the origins and architecture of Maryhill Crematorium, Glasgow. This was Scotland's first crematorium, opened in 1895. The papers, first given at CBCE 2013, were presented to help mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society in 1888.

Earlier in September, Dr Rotar had paid a visit to the Golders Green Crematorium, north London, owned and operated by the Society's subsidiary, where he expressed his great appreciation for the warm welcome he was given. Dr Rotar is the founder of AMURG, the Romanian Cremation Society working to open the first crematorium in Transylvania. He addressed the CBCE 2009 about the history of cremation in modern Romania.

Founder Member Certificates

Claims under this type of membership which are settled from the general fund continue to be 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.


As reported in the last annual report the Society’s accounting function has been computerised. It operates satisfactorily and has proved useful in managing the financial affairs of the Society.

Associate Scheme

When the Articles of Association of the Society were revised in 2004 provision was made for the status of "Associate" of the Society. The Council was to devise a scheme for Associates and the Articles provide that no one can become a Member of the Society without having been an Associate for three years. Regrettably the Council has not yet been able to agree a scheme for Associates and recently decided to await trying to finalise one to see how the experiment of offering bursaries for attendance at the annual Conference fared. Having now been able to assess the success of the bursary scheme referred to earlier in this report the Council hopes that it will be able to progress a scheme for Associates.

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, CAMEO, 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 are encouraged to attend training courses 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'. 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 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 2013 amounted to £88,791. The equivalent figure for the Group was a surplus of £5,300,637. 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 £3,551,589. 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 (2012: £500K). The Council believes this to be a fair market value at 31st March 2013 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 (Deceased 10th September 2013)
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 2013 (2011:£71,500).

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
  31/3/13 1/4/12 31/3/13 1/4/12
The Right Honourable The Earl Grey     404 100
H. Thomas C.B.E. 1,182 1,182 1,304 1,000
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp     137 100
Non-Beneficial Trustee Interests:        
The Right Honourable The Earl Grey 220,000 220,000    
H. Thomas C.B.E. 220,000        

During the period under review, The Right Honourable The Earl Grey was a Trustee of the Golders Green Foundation.

On 30th August 2012, H. Thomas C.B.E. was appointed 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.


On the 1 July 2013, our auditors Larkings (SE) LLP merged with MHA MacIntyre Hudson (Kent) LLP, trading under the name MHA MacIntyre Hudson. MHA MacIntyre Hudson has expressed their willingness to continue in office.

The Auditors, MHA MacIntyre Hudson, have indicated their willingness to accept re-appointment under Section 485 of the Companies Act 2006.


Date: 4 November 2013
R.N. Arber, Secretary