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Pharos International

Published: Quarterly - plus dedicated statistics issue (published in July)

Annual Subscription: £37.00 pa UK addresses; £47.00 Surface mail (Worldwide); £46.00 Air Mail (Europe); £50.00 Air Mail (WW1); £52.00 Air Mail (WW2); £51.00 Air Mail (WW3)

*Please note: All International subscriptions will be subject to an additional £5 banking fee*

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The Official Journal of the Cremation Society of Great Britain and the International Cremation Federation (ICF)

Pharos International, founded in 1934, publishes:

  • Event papers
  • UK cremation statistics
  • International cremation statistics
  • Latest events/issues/legislation
  • Detailed reports
  • News from all areas and aspects of the cremation industry
  • Everything from technical, legislative and statistical, to features of general interest
  • ICF News

Our readership includes most crematoria personnel in the UK, private and public sector management, manufacturers, funeral directors, libraries - in fact, everyone involved, or just interested in cremation, both nationally and internationally.

Pharos International also circulates worldwide including from Andorra to Zimbabwe!

Statistics Issue

In 2019 we introduced an additional issue of Pharos International, dedicated to the publication of statistics.  The 'statistics issue' of Pharos International has received fantastic feedback from across the sector and includes:-

  • Table of cremations carried out in the British Islands
  • Annual survey of crematoria
  • Cremations per crematorium
  • Cremation fee league table
  • Facts and figures (from 1990 to date)
  • Growth of crematoria in the British Islands 1885-2019
  • Disposition of cremated remains in the British Islands 
  • International cremation statistics

The 'statistics issue' can be purchased as part of the subscription to Pharos International.

To subscribe to future issues of Pharos International please complete our order form.



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Directory of Crematoria


Published: Annually - latest edition 2023

Price: £39.00 each incl. claret binder and p+p.; £36.00 each insert only incl. p+p; £9.00 binder only incl. p+p;  Online/digital format  £33.00

Contents: Statistics of cremations in Great Britain since 1885; Addresses of crematoria listed by county, indicating whether publicly or privately owned, and showing number of cremations carried out in each in previous year and since opening.

  • Progress of Cremation in the United Kingdom 1885-present (Statistics)
  • Crematorium Ownership
  • Projected Crematoria (whether public or private)
  • Directory of Crematoria: crematoria listed by county
  • Maximum accepted coffin dimensions
  • Facts and Figures
  • Table of Cremations (showing number of cremations carried out in each crematoria for previous year and since opening)
  • Building Costs
  • Architects
  • The Siting and Planning of Crematoria:
  • Index

To purchase the latest Directory of Crematoria, please complete our order form.

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Monthly News Review

Published: Monthly - by email

Price: Free of charge

Our monthly news review brings together the latest news from within the bereavement sector, conveniently, by email, to your inbox.  It brings updates on Government consultations, changes in legislation and news articles relevant to the sector.  

To sign up to receive future newsletters, please email us at [email protected]

*** To view May's monthly news review, please click here ***

You can access previous issues of our monthly news reviews by following the links below:

Directory of Pet Crematoria

Price: £5.00 each incl. p+p.

Contents: A listing of pet crematoria in the United Kingdom and Channel Islands (for England arranged by county) showing addresses and telephone and fax numbers, useful web pages, opening hours, facilities available, and type of animal catered for.  5th revision - published in August 2016.




To purchase the Directory of Pet Crematoria, please complete our order form.

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Catholics and CremationThe Cremation Society of Great Britain was founded in 1874 to promote cremation as an alternative to traditional burial. Nearly 150 years later, as many as 78% of people in the UK choose cremation for their funerals. This percentage includes a growing number of Catholics. Like many people, there will always be Catholics who prefer burial.  This booklet was commissioned in 2021 to help people understand the present Catholic position. 

To purchase this publication in leaflet form, please complete our order form or you can download a pdf by clicking on the cover





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Questions People Ask About Cremation

Price: Free of charge - please click on the cover to download a pdf

CREMATION IN MODERN SCOTLAND - History, Architecture and the Law

Authors: Peter C Jupp, Douglas J Davies, Hilary J. Grainger, Gordon D Raeburn and Stephen R.G. White

Published: 2017

Price:  £20.00 (inclusive of P&P)

Contents (328 pp plus list of illustrations, notes on contributing authors, foreword by Sir Kenneth Calman, Acknowledgements, List of Acronyms and Map of Scotland's Crematoria)

  • Introduction
  • 1. History, Law, Architecture
  • 2. Issues in Burial Arrangements in Scotland, 1830-1886
  • 3. The Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society and Maryhill Crematorium, 1888-1895
  • 4. Cremation in Scotland : The Early Years, 1895-1918
  • 5. Cremation in the Depression: Failure and Success, 1918-1939
  • 6. The Second World War and the Aberdeen Scandal, 1939-1952
  • 7. Glasgow and the West, 1945-1967: The National Context of Post-war Planning
  • 8. Edinburgh and the East, 1945-1967
  • 9. Cremation : Social and Cultural Change, 1967-2016
  • 10. Scotland's Setting of Cremation
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Names
  • General Index

To purchase this publication, please complete our order form.




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Glossary of funeral organisations

Price: Free of charge - please click on the cover to download a pdf

The Society has published a new glossary of the UK’s funeral organisations listing their objects and acronyms.

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The History of Modern Cremation

Price: Free of charge

Written on the occasion of the Cremation Society's Centenary celebrations in 1974, the text of this publication is also available on this website.

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What is Respectful Disposal?

Controversies about the retention and use of body parts removed at post-mortem examinations led, in 2004 in England and Wales, to the passage of the Human Tissue Act. Removed parts - indeed whole bodies - however they are dealt with, are ultimately, 'disposed of', to use the term in the now repealed Anatomy Act and Regulations. People were agreed that disposals should be 'respectful', 'sensitive', 'proper', 'decent', 'acceptable', 'culturally appropriate' and so on. Yet few, if any, attempts had been made to tease out the criteria according to which a particular disposal could be adjudged to be, for example, 'respectful'; it tended to be assumed that the meaning of the term was self-evident. In an increasingly multi-cultural society rites of passage, such as weddings and funerals, are becoming more individualised. Those operating crematoria and cemeteries and arranging funerals are faced with requests complying with which can make them uneasy. The Cremation Society devoted the central day of its three day Conference in 2004 to a seminar examining the question: 'What is respectful disposal? '.  Speakers were asked to examine both how one can go about determining criteria for respectful disposal as well as what those criteria might be. They were also asked to examine whether one term, such as 'respectful, if defined, could bear the weight that might be placed on it. If, for example, disposal should be dignified, sensitive, or reverent, would it be sufficient to require simply that it be respecful? Could a disposal be respectful without being dignified, sensitive or reverent? If so, should it need to be dignified, sensitive or reverent in addition? Contributions were made by a philosopher, anthropologist, historian, theologian, sociologist, pathologist, embalmer and from those who draft codes and guidelines, arrange funerals, manage crematoria, cemeteries and mortuaries, and from the bereaved and those helping them. This publication contains the papers delivered to the seminar.

Price: £6.00 each incl. p+p.

Contents (24pp)

  • Persons, Bodies and Harming the Dead, Dr Piers Benn MA., MPhil, PhD
  • Meeting Families' Needs following the Death of a Baby Whatever the Gestation, Jenni Thomas OBE
  • Dignity and Identity in Life and Death, Professor Douglas Davies PhD, DLitt, Hon Dr Theol
  • Rest in Pieces!, Anthony McCarthy MBE, DipFD, BIFD
  • Respectful Disposal: A Pathologist's Perspective, Dr Stephen Leadbeatter MB ChB, MRCPath, DMJ (Path)
  • Meaningful Funeral Services, Julie Dunk FICCM Dip
  • Respectful Disposal - A Perspective from 'the Dead Citizens Charter', Revd Dr Peter Jupp MA, Mth, MSc, PhD, FRSA
  • Respectful Disposal - a Christian Perspective, Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe

To purchase this publication, please complete our order form.




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​British Crematoria in Public Profile

Author: Douglas Davies

Published: 1995

Price: £4.13 each incl. p+p.

Contents (52pp incl. bibl.)

  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgements
  • Crematoria
  • The Survey
  • Cemetery Contexts
  • Historical Profile
  • Religious Status
  • Location of Buildings
  • Cremation or Burial
  • Sacred Places
  • Cremated Remains
  • Columbaria and urns
  • Private Placing of Ashes
  • Denominational Use
  • Religious Symbols
  • Portable Symbols
  • Coffin Removal
  • Music
  • Clergy Rota
  • Complaints over Clergy
  • Alternative Officiants
  • Cremations without Rites
  • Vandalism
  • Complaints
  • Level of Cremation
  • Crematorium Design
  • Religion of Managers
  • Funeral Choice of Managers
  • Bereavement and Cremation
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography

To purchase this publication, please complete our order form.




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Death Redesigned, British Crematoria: History, Architecture and Landscape

Author: Hilary J. Grainger

Published: 2006

Price: SOLD OUT £35.00 plus £5.00 p+p. 

Contents (519 pp incl. gazeteer, bibliography and index)

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Crematoria: An Architecture of Ambiguity and Evasion
  • 2. The Architectural Expression of Cremation in Europe, America and Britian 1885-1915
  • 3. Golders Green Crematorium: The Promotion of an Ideal
  • 4. Inter-war Crematoria: Tradition and Innovation
  • 5. Post-war Crematoria: Architecture and Social Change in he 1950s
  • 6. The 1960s: Architects' Thoughts on Crematoria
  • 7. The 1960s: from Theory into Practice
  • 8. The Landscape for Mourning 1930-1970
  • 9. Crematoria 1970-2005: From Public to Private Enterprise
  • Notes
  • Gazeteer
  • Photographic Acknowledgements
  • Index




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