An official ceremony to mark the opening of a new crematorium in the heart of Leicestershire was held this week.
Prominent religious and civic leaders joined a service led by the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester in an act of dedication to the new chapel and crematorium at Great Glen.
The bishop was full of praise for the new service which opened in March this year and has already held almost 400 funerals from across the region. He said: “It was very good to join with representatives from the city and county to dedicate the new crematorium at Great Glen.
“It is a beautiful space for reflection, thanksgiving and remembrance.”
“Bereaved families have certainly appreciated the extra space and time that we are able to offer,” said Richard Evans, managing director of Westerleigh Group, the company that operates the crematorium.
“The crematorium is set in more than 30 acres of grounds. All of the facilities have been designed with space and comfort in mind to ensure that families have everything they need to have a special, private funeral in a wonderfully natural setting.”
The 108 seater chapel has been fitted with large picture windows on both sides, overlooking a water garden as well as wide views of the Leicestershire countryside beyond.
The buildings and gardens are set within a much larger landscape which has benefitted from the planting of over 6,000 sq metres of new turf, alongside hundreds of bedding plants and trees and many more acres of open parkland.
There are views of Leicestershire countryside in all directions across fields and woodland.
Jane Humphries, a local civil celebrant who provided a reading as part of the service said: “The new crematorium has given the local community the opportunity to say farewell to their loved ones in a natural environment.
“The support of the staff enables families to feel that they have the time to say farewell in a manner which is dignified and appropriate in a chapel which reflects the beauty of its surroundings.”
The opening ceremony featured input from a series of religions and secular leaders from the county and city, and music from the Tudor Choir.
Helen Bozon, manager of Great Glen Crematorium, said: “We are very grateful for all of the support from local funeral directors, celebrants and clergy who have helped to ensure that the service is tailored to local needs. It is always so reassuring to hear what a difference the new crematorium has made to families in the area.
“ We are determined to deliver on our promise to provide the best level of care so that we can make that very difficult day a little bit easier.”
J Stamps, prominent funeral directors from Market Harborough attended the service too: “Great Glen Crematorium is a first class facility, which has been extremely well received by the families that we serve.
“It is set in glorious South Leicestershire countryside and there is a real sense of space and calm about the place.
“These attractive and peaceful surroundings, combined with an hour between services, really does allow bereaved families to truly celebrate a life.”