Quarter of UK adults opt for funeral party over wake

21 May 2015

The region’s final wishes revealed ahead of ‘unique tributes’ exhibitions at the UK’s upcoming County Shows

The UK is moving away from ‘traditional’ funerals as over a quarter (26 per cent) are opting for non-religious services and a further quarter (23 per cent) say that they would prefer a ‘party’ instead of a wake, according to new research published today by The Co-operative Funeralcare.

The research has been commissioned to mark the funeral providers ‘unique tributes’ exhibitions due to take place at County Shows over the coming months.  The findings also show that colour is the new black, with a quarter (24 per cent) of UK adults saying that they will be asking guests to wear a splash of colour at their funeral, as opposed to just five per cent who intend for their loved ones to wear black.              

Almost half of adults (47 per cent) would like to be cremated as opposed to just one fifth (20 per cent) who said that they would like to be buried.

And of these, a fifth (20 per cent) stated they would like an eco-friendly coffin, one tenth (7 per cent) want a wicker coffin and a 4 in 10 (4 per cent) have said that they would like to personalise their coffin.

Additional special requests from across the UK include a ‘24 carat gold coffin laced in diamonds’, calls for ‘ashes to be made into fireworks’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My way’ played during the service.

David Collingwood, Operations Director for The Co-operative Funeralcare said:

“It’s great that more and more people are wanting to personalise their funeral, making it a unique tribute to a unique life, but it’s important that people communicate these wishes to their loved ones to ensure that they are fulfilled as intended.

Sam Kershaw, Operations Director for The Co-operative Funeralcare added:

“The use of unusual hearses, from milk floats to Buddhist hearses and motorbikes, would have been rare in days gone by but traditional views are changing and modern funerals are very much about personal choice. We see a variety of requests for themed funerals, personalised coffins, creative floral tributes and alternative hearses.”

The Co-operative Funeralcare’s Unique Tributes exhibition which includes some of the Co-funeral provioder’s most requested alternative coffins and hearses will be showcased at the following County Shows:

25 May: Surrey County Show
27-30 May: Royal Bath and West County Show
11-13 June: South of England County Show
18-21 June: Royal Highland County Show
23-34 June: Cheshire County Show
1-2 July: Royal Norfolk County Show
28-30 July: New Forrest and Hampshire County Show
5 August: Bakewell County Show
10 September: Westmorland County Show


For further information please contact:

Emily Dalton (PR Officer) / emily.daton@co-operative.coop / 07738 621 201
Lauren Hoult (PR Manager) / lauren.hoult@co-operative.coop / 07702 505 626


About The Co-operative Funeralcare

The Co-operative Funeralcare is the UK’s number one funeral services provider and part of The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest co-operative business, whose purpose is “Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities.