Annual Report
Year Ended 31st March 2015

The Cremation Society of Great Britain

Report of the Council



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 five times this year. The day to day operations of the charity are managed by Miriam Deacon (Secretary) and her staff (Sue Jackson, Julie Forrest and Fay Leahy) to all of whom the Council offers warm thanks for their work and dedication.


The Council unanimously selected Mrs Miriam Deacon as Secretary to the Cremation Society of Great Britain and she took up her position following Roger Arber's retirement in April 2015.

Miriam was in banking for 25 years and then served 10 years as Deputy Manager of the Gwent Crematorium. She was President of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities in 2014.

Mrs Deacon has also been appointed Editor of Pharos magazine.

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 company has purchased land at Gravesham in Kent and entered into a development agreement for the construction of a new crematorium on that land.

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.

Trustee Training

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 two new Trustees along with the new Secretary and Chairman of the Society attended a trustee training course entitled What Every Trustee Should Know in April which provided an introduction to the duties and responsibilities of charity trustees.


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 £597,009 as compared to a gain of £558,689 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 £848,760. In the previous year the profit before taxation amounted to £867,048. The Company carried out 6,593 cremations during the year, an increase of 201 on the previous year.

Golders Green Foundation

The excess for the year amounted to £10,402 (2014: £9,428). 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). The archives have been greatly increased this year as further documents from the Society's Maidstone office have been transferred to Durham.

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. The Society's website is also regularly used as a reference source in connection with statutory crematorium planning matters, particularly the Cremation Act 1902. It continues to be accessible via the Public Archive Section of the UK Web Archiving Consortium at

Although it has not been possible to carry out the intended changes to the structure and hosting of the website during the year, a new website designer has been contacted to update and host our website and by the end of the 2016 financial year a new website will be in place.


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 276 crematoria in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, all entries are provided free of charge. It provides a vital source of information for all those wishing to develop cremation facilities whether they be from the public or private sector. The Directory is often used as an accredited source of information during planning applications.

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 recorded in last year's Report of the Council, advertising income is being affected as a result of the economic climate. In addition there is increased competition from various publications who have established themselves in the death care/bereavement sector. Despite this advertising revenue is marginally lower than last year. Pharos still operates at a net surplus, a considerable achievement for the only subscription-only magazine published by a national cremation organisation. This is undoubtedly due to the quality of its production and variety of content which is designed to be of interest to a wide section of the death care industry. We are pleased to record that Pharos continues to retain its prominence in the market place.

Careful management of production costs together with modest price increases should ensure the continued financial viability of the publication. Other avenues of making the content of Pharos available via the use of modern technology in order to increase revenue are under consideration.

What You Should Know About Cremation Leaflet

The sub-committee set up to carry out a comprehensive review of this leaflet has prepared a draft wording, however it will not be possible to publish a final version of this until the various proposed legislative changes affecting cremation that are on-going or under discussion have been resolved.

In the circumstances it is intended to make available a temporary version of the leaflet What You Should Know About Cremation on the Society's website pending further information regarding the implementation of Death Certification Reforms in England and Wales.

Annual Conference 2015 (Cremation and Burial Conference and Exhibition 2015)

Continuing the success of previous Cremation and Burial Conferences and Exhibitions the 2015 event was again held at the Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon, during 6th to 8th July 2014. Since the inception in 2007 of joint conferences this is the ninth occasion on which it has been held and the third time that the International Cremation Federation's General Council Meeting has been incorporated within the programme. This provided the conference and exhibition with an added international dimension to its content. 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 approximately 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 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 by Scottish Death Certification and Scrutiny of Deaths by Dr George Fernie, Senior Medical Reviewer, Healthcare Improvement Scotland; Wills and Inheritance: The Recent Changes to the Law of Intestacy by Daniel Curran, Managing Director and Louise Levene, Asset Services Manager, Finders International Genealogists; Ministry of Justice Update from Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremation and Inquiries Policy Team, Ministry of Justice and Not quite Dumas - fifteen years on by Dr Stephen Leadbeatter, Director of the Wales Institute of Forensic Medicine, Cardiff University.

Social and cultural issues were covered by Islamic Gardens of Peace by Mohamed Omer, Board Member - External Affairs, Gardens of Peace Muslim Cemetery; Disposal of Pregnancy Remains by Caroline Browne, Head of Regulation, Human Tissue Authority; Supporting Bereaved Children and their Families by Corinne Mason and Sally Napier, Winston's Wish; Horizon 20/20: Cremation as Cultural Heritage by Professor Douglas Davies, Director of The Centre for Death and Life Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University; R.I.P. - the grave may not be the end by Peter Mitchell, Peter Mitchell Associates; Death before Birth Project: Disposal of Remains of Pregnancy in English Law
by Dr Sheelagh McGuiness, Centre for Health Law, Science & Policy, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham; Funeral Rites and Funeral Meanings - Reflections of a Travelling Bishop by The Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell.

Practical operational aspects of cremation and burial were covered by presentations on Solving a Burial Space Problem in Five Days by Mark Street, Environmental Services Group Manager, Stafford Borough Council; TEAM - Everyone Together Achieves More by Mark Woollard, Immediate Past President, National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors; Controlling the Risks of Infection at Work from Human Remains by Lyndsey Baldwin and Dr Michael Paton, HID and Safe and Dignified Disposal of Mass Fatalities in Public Health Emergencies - A Public Health Perspective by Dr Aileen Kitching, Specialist in Public Health Medicine/Medical Epidemiologist, Public Health England Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance & Control.

The international perspective was provided by ICF Country Reports from Germany (Dr Rolf Lichtner), Japan (Dr Shoji Eguchi), Australia (Darryl Thomas) and United States of America (Jerry Sullivan),as well as an International Question Time chaired by Harvey Thomas CBE with panel members Jerry Sullivan (ICF President) and Darryl Thomas (ICF Vice-President).

Immediately prior to the conference the organisers became aware of a Commons Debate on Cremation of Infants in England scheduled to take place at Westminster Hall between 16.30 hrs to 17.30 hrs on Wednesday 8th Jly. This unprogrammed event was screened live following the close of conference for interested delegates.

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

The Continuing Professional Development Certification Service granted accreditation for the 2015 event. This allows delegates to demonstrate to their employers that attendance at the event contributes to their personal development.

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.

Conference Bursary

In 2013 in pursuit of its aim of "advancing the public education in the practice and ethics of cremation" the Council established a conference bursary. The bursary covers the conference fee and accommodation for 3 nights at the conference hotel and includes 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 and all enquiries should be addressed to the Secretary at the Cremation Society's head office.

We are pleased to announce that they awarded this year's bursary to a student from Norway but unfortunately the successful candidate had to decline due to personal matters.

Education, Promotion and Research

The Society's Council has generously supported two publications. The first is a book on the origin and development of cremation in modern Scotland, to be published by Birlinn of Edinburgh. The authors are Peter Jupp, Douglas Davies, Hilary J. Grainger, Gordon Raeburn and Stephen White. Much use has been made of the Cremation Society Archives at the University of Durham. The research had been first enabled by a starter grant from the Golders Green Foundation and thereafter by the Leverhulme Trust. The authors also express their gratitude to the Scottish Cremation Society and to Edinburgh Crematorium Ltd for their generous help towards the subvention for the book.

The second is a collection of essays Death in modern Scotland, 1855-1955: beliefs, attitudes and practices, to be published next year by Peter Lang of Oxford and Bern. Edinburgh Crematorium Ltd also contributed generously to the publication costs. The editors are Susan Buckham, Peter Jupp and Julie Rugg. The collection includes Hilary Grainger's 2013 chapter on 'Designs on Death: the architecture of Scottish crematoria, 1895-1955' and Stephen White's on 'The Legal Status of Corpses and Cremains: When and Where can you Steal a Dead Body?'.

Peter Jupp gave a paper on 'Maryhill Crematorium Glasgow: the origin and development of cremation in modern Scotland' to the Church History Seminar at New College, Edinburgh University, in February 2015.

He and Professor Grainger together gave a plenary lecture at the 2015 meeting of the conference 'Dying and Death in 18th-21st century Europe' at the University of Alba Iulia, Romania, on 'The golden age of Scottish crematoria, 1955-1975'.

Peter Jupp will be giving a lecture at Dulwich Picture Gallery in November 2015 in the series High Minds: The Victorians who shaped Modern Britain on Sir Henry Thompson and his contribution to modern cremation. He will give a second paper there in 2016 on 'Attitudes to Death'.

Architectural Influences and Design of Crematoria

During the period under review Professor Grainger delivered the following lecture:

March 17th 2015Writtle College, Chelmsford Lecture to Post Graduate MA Students: 'Crematoria Landscapes: A New Landscape for Mourning'.

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

Over thirty organizations with responsibility for death and bereavement issues meet twice a year at the MoJ. The agenda is wide-ranging and the re-burial arrangements for King Richard III were the most unusual item.

Agenda items relevant to the cremation interest included: continuing discussion on the Cremation (England and Wales) Regulations 2008; Scottish death certification reforms; new death certification systems (cross-border issues); costs to families of transporting bodies for post-mortem examination; medical referee appointments; applications for the conversion of former chapels to crematoria in England (the Scottish case being outwith the MoJ's remit); the continuing consequences of Lord Bonomy's Infant Cremation Commission. The ICCM and NAFD have jointly proposed a new clause in the Cremation Regulations 2008 concerning ashes held at funeral directors' premises: the clause was to incorporate a legal process whereby such ashes could be returned to the crematorium without the written consent of the applicant for cremation.

The Chair, Mrs Judith Bernstein, once again accepted the ICBCE's invitation to speak at Stratford-upon-Avon in July 2015.

On the closing afternoon of the ICBCE 2015, participants were able to watch the Commons debate on the matter of ashes remaining after infant cremations and their return to their families. The Revd Dr Peter Jupp who has represented the Society on BCAG since its inception in 2002 has stepped down. Mrs Miriam Deacon has succeeded him.

Council for British Funeral Services

The CBFS offers the opportunity for representatives of death and bereavement organisations to meet twice yearly, by the kind invitation of the British Institute of Embalmers at Knowle. The Chair is the Revd Neil Cocking.

The meeting enables wide-ranging discussion on relevant and contemporary issues; representatives present and speak to reports of their organisations' activities over the last six months. Mrs Miriam Deacon and the Revd Dr Peter Jupp represent the Society.

Churches' Funerals Group

The Revd Dr Peter Jupp represents the Society on the Churches Funerals Group. Most major denominations, together with the ICCM and the NAFD, are represented on this Group whose Chair is the Bishop of Rochester.

Of immediate interest is the Church of England's recent conference on its funeral ministry, attended by nearly 300 people. Funeral poverty issues are to the fore on the Group's agenda.

The Dying Matters Coalition

During the year 2014-2015, the Council of the Society agreed to join the Dying Matters Coalition.

Infant Cremation Commission

On 16th April 2013 the Minister for Public Health announced in the Scottish Parliament the creation of an independent Commission to examine the policies, practice and legislation related to the cremation of infants in Scotland. The Commission, chaired by the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy, was to report its recommendations to the Scottish Government during June 2014.

The remit for the Infant Cremation Commission was:

  • To review the current policies, guidance and practice in Scotland in relation to the handling of all recoverable remains (ashes) following the cremation of babies and infants, and to make recommendations for improvement to ensure that: parents and other bereaved relatives receive clear and consistent advice and information about the disposal of such remains and have their wishes adhered to; and that any such remains are treated sensitively and compassionately.
  • To consider existing legislation, with particular reference to the Cremation Act 1902 and the Cremation Regulations (Scotland) 1935, in order to identify gaps, inconsistencies and weaknesses and to make recommendations on what issues should be addressed in future legislation.
  • To consider existing practice and guidance in related fields such as the NHS and funeral services in order to identify gaps, inconsistencies and weaknesses that should be addressed; and to make recommendations on the format and content of future guidance.
  • To give guidance on the conduct of any investigations of historical practice undertaken by Local Authority or independent crematoria operators.

The report was published in June 2014. As a result of this report a National Committee on Infant Cremations has been established and the Chair of the Committee, the Head of Health Protection, Scottish Government, has confirmed that developments and any issues that the Society may wish to raise can be accommodated by appropriate channels of communication. We are pleased to announce that Mr R Powell, Secretary of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, has been our representative on this Committee. He has attended two meetings representing the Federation and the Society and was due to attend a third meeting in March but this was cancelled by Scottish Government. The Society thanks Mr Powell for representing us on this Committee.


Cremation Act 1902

The Cremation Act 1902, instigated by the Cremation Society, is the core piece of legislation governing cremation and from which all other cremation acts and regulations emanate. Section 5 of the 1902 Act
relating to the "site of a crematorium" states:

"No crematorium shall be constructed nearer to any dwelling house than 200 yards, except with the consent, in writing of the owner, lessee and occupier of such house, nor within 50 yards of any public highway, nor in the consecrated part of the burial ground of any burial authority."

For well over a century this condition has been strictly observed by anyone wishing to develop or operate a crematorium, whether they be from the public or private sector.

The only way to circumvent the 50 yard requirement is to obtain a private Act of Parliament disapplying it, as developers who have wished to build crematoria in breach of Section 5 have always done. The Society is aware of 15 such Acts.

No matter how inconvenient Section 5 of the Act is for a developer it has been observed without exception. However the situation is now being challenged by developers in Scotland and one in England. The Society has drawn the attention of the Ministry of Justice to these developments but as it is only responsible for cremation law and policy in England and Wales it is not in a position to act in the case of the Scottish developments. The Society has engaged Brodies Solicitors to act on its behalf regarding the Scottish crematorium. They have been in contact with the police and procurator fiscal drawing their attention to the operation of a crematorium outwith the law. In the case of the development in England the Ministry of Justice has been in touch with developers drawing their attention to the requirements of the Act.

The Society believes that all developments should comply with existing legislation and, until such time as the law is altered or repealed, will continue to notify the relevant authorities whenever it considers there is a potential or actual breach of Section 5 of the Cremation Act 1902.

Death Certification Reforms in England and Wales

Death Certification Reforms in England and Wales providing a new system of death certification, (excluding coroner cases), involving Medical Examiners scrutinising the cause of death as stated by a doctor, were planned to go live by October 2014. However these reforms have been delayed and we await further developments.

Certification of Death (Scotland) 2011 Act

The aims of the Certification of Death (Scotland) 2011 Act received Royal Assent on April 20th 2011. These are to:

  • Introduce a single system of independent effective scrutiny applicable to deaths that do not require a procurator fiscal investigation;
  • Improve the quality and accuracy of medical certificates of cause of death (MCCDs)
  • Provide improved public health information and strengthen clinical governance in relation to deaths

The new legislation creates the role of Medical Reviewers and a National Senior Medical Reviewer whose primary functions are to conduct reviews of medical certificates of cause of death. This new death certification legislation was implemented on 13th May 2015.and sets out the functions of the new Medical Reviewers. This will mean the end of the existing statutory role of crematorium medical referees in Scotland. Additionally the statutory forms B and C will be discontinued under the new system. An essential document under the new Scottish legislation is the revised Scottish Form 14, the certificate of registration of death given to the family/informant by the registrar. Form 14 contains details if the certifying doctor who completed Form 11 (the revised Scottish MCCD). The form also contains information on hazardous materials, implants and notifiable infectious diseases that appear on the MCCD. The Ministry of Justice is content that the documentary requirements for a cremation in England and Wales will be met if either of the following groups of documents is provided.

In a non-coroner's case:

  1. an application for cremation is provided for use in Scotland or in England and Wales;
  2. a certificate of no liability to register the death in England and Wales;
  3. a full extract of the death from the Register of Deaths, or a Form E1 for deaths investigated by the procurator fiscal in Scotland; and
  4. a Scottish Form 14.

In a coroner's case:

  1. an application for cremation is provided for use in Scotland or in England and Wales;
  2. a coroner's certificate under Regulation 18 in a case where a coroner has directed a post mortem examination and is satisfied that future investigation is unnecessary, or has opened an investigation into the death.


Crematoria Abatement of Mercury Emissions Organisation (CAMEO)

In his capacity as a Director, the Society's Chairman represents the Society on the Board of CAMEO Ltd. He, together with his fellow Board Members, Mr R Powell (Chairman) and Mr B Day, both from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, continued to work closely together to carry through the successful Burden-Sharing Scheme for Mercury Emission Reduction. CAMEO has now reduced mercury emissions by more than 50% and this figure will continue to come down in 2015.


Horizon 20/20: Cremation as Cultural Heritage (EUCREM)

In May 2015 a major application was made to the EU Research Programme [Reflective Societies: Cultural Heritage and European Identity: RE 2-2015: Emergence and Transmission of European Cultural Heritage and Europeanisation] for funding to support a research project based at Durham University with researchers drawn from the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Romania, Ireland, Portugal and Serbia. The goal of the project is to argue that modern cremation is one major form of cultural heritage to have emerged in Europe from the late nineteenth century, growing in the twentieth century and currently occupying a significant position in many European countries. Council Member, Professor Hilary J Grainger, Professor of Architectural History, University of the Arts London is contributing to one of the project 'work packages', Crematorium Architecture and Ethnography, in collaboration with colleagues from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy and the Czech Republic. It is hoped that the outcome of the bid, led by Project Director, Professor Douglas J Davies, Professor in the Study of Religion and Director of The Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University, will be confirmed sometime in November 2015.

Founder Member Certificates

Claims under this type of membership are settled from the general fund. There was one claim during the year and in view of the age structure of this membership few are expected in the future.

Associate Scheme

This subject remains a "work in progress" as there are still a number of areas that need clarification and agreement before any new membership scheme can be launched.


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

Brecon House

Property Management

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 and several viewings have taken place during the last year, although there have been no firm offers to rent either the ground or second floors as yet.

The second floor of Brecon House has been cleared and refurbishment works commenced on 1st September. Once this has been completed it will encourage new tenants to take up occupancy.

Minor redecoration works were carried out on the first floor of 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 and other methods of disposal which appear to the Society to be equal or 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, CAMEO, 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 addition it will investigate the practicalities of operating this form of disposal in the UK.


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 31st March 2015 amounted to £34,270. The equivalent figure for the Group was a surplus of £6,315,472. 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 implemented 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 £3,493,387. 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 (2014: £500K). The Council believes this to be a fair market value at 31st March 2015 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:-

H. Thomas C.B.E
Dr. I. Dungavell
Professor H.J. Grainger
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp
Mr. C.F. Rickman
M. Stronach
S.R.G. White
Professor G.F. Woodroffe

On 20th January 2015 Dr Ian Dungavell and Mr Colin Rickman were appointed to the Council and will be proposed for election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

Dr Ian Dungavell BA(Hons), MScCHE, PhD, FSA, AICCM

Ian has been Chief Executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, a registered charity, since September 2012. It is one of a very few friends groups which actually runs a cemetery, and tries to balance the needs of the bereaved with its other role as a visitor attraction. Ian is very interested in how sustainable burial practices can provide for the needs of the present while conserving what is special about the past.

While most cemetery managers come up through the profession, Ian's background is in heritage. For 12 years prior to Highgate he was Director of The Victorian Society, the national charity campaigning for Victorian and Edwardian architecture. He has a master's degree in the conservation of the historic environment and a doctorate in architectural history. He grew up in Australia, and has a BA (Hons) in Art History from the Australian National University.

Colin Rickman DipFD, BIE

Colin studied engineering at Southampton and changed career in 1973 to train as a funeral director/embalmer with a family funeral director in Poole. He joined the Co-operative Funeral Service in 1981 and since then has held various senior management roles, including the management of crematoria, cemeteries, woodland burial grounds and hospital mortuaries/bereavement services.

During his 37 years in the funeral profession Colin has taken a key role in many bereavement care organisations. He is Past President of the Bournemouth & District Association of Funeral Directors and The Co-operative Funeral Service Managers' Association. He is a Member of The London Association of Funeral Directors and Past Governor of Lions Clubs International.

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. A recruitment drive is presently under way in this connection and it is anticipated that new appointments are imminent.

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 £49,500 during the year ended 31st March 2015 (2014: £55,500).

H. Thomas C.B.E.
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp

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
                                   31/3/15  1/4/14   31/3/15   1/4/14
H. Thomas C.B.E.                     1,182   1,182     1,404    1,404
Revd. Dr. P.C. Jupp                   -       -          337      337
Non-Beneficial Trustee Interests:
H. Thomas C.B.E.                   220,000 220,000

H Thomas CBE 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 MHA MacIntyre Hudson, Chartered Accountants, be re-appointed Auditors of the Society.


Date: 2 November 2015
M.L. Deacon, Secretary