The UK funeral sector is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging all the time in conjunction with the changing needs and values of the population. From eco-friendly funerals to personalised memorials, there are many interesting developments taking place in the industry.

In this blog, we will explore some of the latest trends in the UK funeral sector and how they may impact the way funerals are conducted in 2023. We will also discuss some of the key factors driving these changes and how they are shaping the future of the industry. Whether you are a funeral professional, a bereaved family member, or someone looking into planning your funeral, this blog will provide valuable insights into the latest developments in the UK funeral sector.

What are the 5 funeral trends on the rise?

Now, more than ever, there is a very noticeable shift away from traditional religious ceremonies, and toward more modern funerals. Here are five changes in the funeral sector we predict will rise in 2023:

1. Eco-funerals

Eco-funerals, also known as green funerals, are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. One reason is the growing awareness of environmental issues and the desire to reduce carbon emissions. Eco-funerals often involve using biodegradable materials for the burial or cremation of the deceased, such as wicker caskets or biodegradable urns, or even planting a tree in memory of the deceased. 

As well as reducing the environmental impact of funerals, eco-funerals also provide a more natural and meaningful way for families to say goodbye to loved ones. By incorporating elements of nature and sustainability into the funeral, eco-funerals can provide a sense of peace and closure for grieving families.

green funeral

2. Cremations, and direct cremations over burials

Over the past 10 years, the average price of funerals has risen by nearly 40%, with the current average cost of a traditional funeral being a whopping £4,056. Finding these funds can be extremely difficult for those planning a funeral for a loved one, especially if the death was sudden or unexpected, and without a pre-paid plan in place. These rising funeral costs have caused a rise in the preference for cremation and direct cremation services, which is expected to rise further in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.   

Cremations are often cheaper than burials for several reasons. One reason is that cremations do not require the purchase of a gravesite. In the UK, grave plots can be expensive, with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand pounds. Additionally, the cost of maintaining a grave over time can also be significant, as it must be tended to regularly to keep them in good condition. 

Direct cremations are becoming extremely popular for those looking to reduce funeral costs while still allowing their loved one a dignified send-off. As direct cremations are unattended ceremonies, they remove the need for optional costs usually included in traditional burials or cremations such as death and funeral notices, flowers, order sheets, and limousines. Instead, families come together and celebrate the life of their loved one privately, in a more personal way (see below).

direct cremations

3. Celebration of Life ceremonies

Celebration of life ceremonies, which usually take place after a direct cremation, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK for several reasons. 

One reason is the changing attitudes towards death and grieving in the country. In the past, traditional funerals were often focused on mourning and grief, with a sombre atmosphere and religious rituals. However, many people today are seeking more personalised and meaningful ways to celebrate the life of a loved one. 

As well as being much cheaper than traditional funeral ceremonies, a celebration of life funeral provides an opportunity for loved ones to remember the deceased in a more positive and personal way, often incorporating elements of the person's hobbies, passions, and interests.

celebration of life

4. Pre-paid plans

In 2023, the number of people making their funeral arrangements in advance is expected to rise. Pre-paid funeral plans have a wide range of benefits, the main being that it ensures loved ones of the deceased are protected when the inevitable happens and are saved from the stress of paying for and arranging a funeral in their time of grief. Aside from this, there are many other key benefits of arranging a pre-paid funeral. These include:

  • Financial security and peace of mind: Since July 2022, all providers of pre-paid funeral plans are now required to be registered with and regulated by the FCA to sell their plans in the UK. For buyers, this means their plan will be protected if the provider fails and will not lose any money. A full list of FCA-approved funeral plan providers in the UK can be found online.
  • Honoured wishes: According to SunLife’s 2022 Cost of Dying Report, only 1% of people knew their loved one’s funeral wishes when they passed. Putting a pre-paid plan in place will allow families to make important decisions and ensure their loved one’s funeral is carried out according to their wishes.
  • Protected from rising costs: Between 2010 and 2020, funeral costs in the UK rose from £2,713 to £4,184—that’s a huge 54% increase. If this trend continues, by 2030, funeral costs could be set to rise to £6,443. Arranging a pre-paid funeral allows people to pay a fixed price at the time of purchase that won’t be subject to the predicted rising costs of at-need funerals, saving families across the nation a lot of money and stress.

5. More unique ash scattering or storing

With cremations, and direct cremations expected to become even more popular in 2023, it is no surprise that we are seeing a rise in new and unique ways loved ones are choosing to spread or store cremated remains. Some examples include turning ashes into a firework, scattering them from a plane, planting a tree with cremated remains, or even getting ashes turned into vinyl.

pre-paid plans

2023 Funeral trends: Need further advice?

If you need any further advice on this topic or are looking to arrange a direct cremation, get in touch with our expert team today.

At Celebration of Life, we offer one of the UK’s lowest-price, simple, and fully inclusive direct cremations, both pre-paid and at-need. We’re available 24/7, whenever you need us, and more than happy to help. So, if you’re looking for an affordable and fuss-free direct cremation service, contact us at Celebration of Life today – we’re always happy to help.

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