Opening day at last!
Well, as with all these events, it was actually several weeks after we actually started to operate from the new office and chapel in Bearsted. I wanted to have the President of the National Association of Funeral Directors Mr Andrew Pargetter to officially open the premises, and then have the local Vicar Reverend John Corbyn to perform a dedication of the chapel. It took a while to get everything to come together, and we were very unlucky with the weather, but the event went very well. Everyone except one local vicar came, and he had an emergency which obviously took priority.
So what did we do? Well, very kindly a local hairdresser (who is a good photographer but terrible hairdresser!) came along to take the following pictures. They will explain better than I can.
You will probably say “tut tut, he should have had the front painted for the opening” and you would be quite right! I feel so cross about it, but it’s done now, and it looks so much better.
Now you may say “that doesn’t look like the average funeral directors office” and we like to think that way too. I took quite a positive decision to break a few norms, and make it as different as possible whilst keeping it calm and professional. People seem to like it.
What do you call a gathering of Clergy? A flock! Anyway. This is Reverend John Corbyn the Vicar of Holy Cross Bearsted and St Mary at Thurnham. John is an interesting chap. Always rushing somewhere! Mind you whenever I call him, he is always very helpful. And, he is accommodating of the rather unusual for example, the full service in Church including the Committal. Some Clergy are not so keen, but if the family want it…
The chap in the purple shirt is Bishop Jonathan Blake of The Open Episcopal Church. He very kindly came along for the opening too.
Then to the left is Reverend Steve Hughes OBE. The new (April 2012) Vicar of St Nicholas Otham and St Mary Langley. He’s a very jolly chap too. It’s going to be good working with him, if the first funeral was anything to go by. He and his wife were both awarded OBE’s for their work in Romania immediately after everything fell apart over there. They worked there for 10 years!
Lurking in the background is the Accountant. I always have to stand up when I see him. Peter from Stones Accountancy in the town, along with his very good PA Niki. They ate loads of food too, must try to get a reduction in the fees.
This is the interview room, where we will sit to discuss the requirements of the family. Takes around one and a half to two hours. Sounds like ages, but it goes by really quickly. Everything will be booked before you leave, unless it’s something out of our control. I must take the labels off the chairs.