Afternoon of quiet reflection on life
A GROUP of funeral pioneers will be remembered by loved ones at their final resting place tomorrow.
Westmill Woodland Burial Ground, near Watchfield, will hold its first memorial gathering in the afternoon.
To mark the start of what is planned to be an annual tradition, sculptor Alec Peever will add the final words to a poem carved on a standing stone. There will also be hot drinks, music and reflection.
The completed verse will read: “Gathered in stillness/We lie beneath the wide, embracing sky/Tide turn/Leaf fall/Love connecting all.”
The burial ground is a not-for-profit business offering an alternative to traditional cemeteries for people of all faiths and none.
Founder Liz Rothschild said: “We have 46 people buried there and 45 bookings. The majority are from the Swindon area. The bookings aren’t just because people expect to be buried with their partners, although that happens.
“People are planning ahead, and I’m really delighted because it’s about people getting straight with their families and avoiding all that horrible last-minute ‘what would mum have wanted?’ stuff.“ Liz became a funeral celebrant after leading a bespoke tribute to a non-religious friend who died suddenly, and the idea for the burial ground came a few years later.
The first burial was in 2000, although it is only fairly recently, with improvements to the site, that Westmill has begun to publicise its work more widely.
Tomorrow’s gathering, like the burial ground itself, is for people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
The ceremony begins at 5.30pm, and all who have loved ones at Westmill, or who simply want to know more about its work, are welcome. There will be no charge for items such as drinks and lanterns, although donations to Prospect Hospice are invited.
Call ahead so enough chairs and cups can be provided. Visit www.
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