The changing colours of funerals by Paul Allcock

15/11/2018   //   No Comments

SAIF thanks Past President Paul Allcock for this month’s ponderings on changes happening within the funeral profession:

Black or Not

Back in 2002 I had a lengthy discussion with my father over whether we should change our company funeral fleet to silver from black.  His opinion was that the local folk of Norwich and Norfolk literally wouldn’t be seen dead in them, and that they generally didn’t like change.  Thankfully having seen the cars alongside their black counterparts he could see the way they stood out from the crowd.  For the first time ever I had managed to get my way and convince him that silver was the right image for our still relatively new business.

I had seen a change in attitude in the previous years leading up to me making this decision with many people (yes even 20 years ago) requesting people to wear bright colours and not black to a funeral.

Mourning the death of a loved one as a society has been surrounded by black for many years, with many leading individuals, probably most notably Queen Victoria influencing what is seen as being appropriate.

But the single biggest factor for me personally was that we should celebrate both a life that had been, and the fact that someone we love is in a far better place.  What better way to achieve that than the use of bright colours instead of black.  For me, reflecting on everything that was good in someone’s life rather than mourning their death, however difficult that may be, is a far healthier way to move on with our lives.

There are now many funeral directors across the country who have embraced this view and are now using different coloured vehicles or wearing uniform incorporating colours other than black. 

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone should change.  Indeed, I am well aware that there are many areas and many individuals who still feel very strongly that black is the dignified and appropriate way for funerals to be conducted.

It is obviously down to each funeral director to decide what is the best option for them individually and as a business.  And without the variation in style and presentation of different funeral services, the public would be bereft of choice.

So, currently having alternatives to cater for differing opinions and choice, I think is very healthy.  But I do wonder if the colour of funerals will continue to change over the coming years.

Paul Allcock

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