Gedling borough’s newest crematorium has now been blessed by a Bishop during an official dedication service.
Gedling crematorium, in Catford Lane, held its first funeral in January and its arrival was officially marked last week by a service of dedication led by the suffragan Bishop of Sherwood, the Right Reverend Tony Porter.
Other faith leaders attended, including Canon Philipp Ziomek, of the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd, in Woodthorpe, who gave an opening prayer, and local civil celebrant Victoria Corder.
Councillor Sandra Barnes, Mayor of Gedling, also spoke at the service, which included readings, prayers, live singing from Sarah Simmons and a welcome from crematorium manager Kevin Browne.
The Westerleigh Group, a specialist company that built and also operate the new facility, were represented at the service by managing director Richard Evans.
He said: “We had a dedication service to mark the fact that the crematorium has been open since the beginning of the year.
“We have held over 300 funerals in that time which is the most acknowledgement of how important this new service has been to the bereaved in this area.
“Mayor Barnes said she has attended six funerals at the crematorium and commented on how it had made such a difference to local families.
“It’s much less busy than other crematoria and everyone commented on how wonderful the setting is, wrapped in glorious countryside in a tranquil, quiet spot – it has a completely different feel about it.
“We allow up to an hour for services and people have the time to have an unhurried, dignified service.
“I am very grateful for all of the support we have had from local funeral directors and clergy who have helped to ensure that the service is tailored to local needs.”
Mr Evans also said that some local people who originally had concerns about the plans had since been pleased with what they saw and that the crematorium had blended in well with the countryside setting.
He added: “We are hoping to prove to those people who objected that we are good neighbours,” said Mr Evans.
Mr Evans said the Bishop provided a “wonderful address” on the importance of people being allowed to grieve and how it was such a significant responsibility for crematorium staff to ensure they look after people with professional dignity.
The Bishop said: “It was a privilege to be invited to dedicate the new crematorium – particularly to see the care, the professional dignity and sensitivity that is shown to bereaved people.”
Local funeral directors also attended, including Nigel Lymn Rose, of AW Lymn – The Family Funeral Service, who had initially objected to the plans as his 110-year-old firm wanted to open a crematorium in the area.
Mr Lymn, whose company conducted the first service at the crematorium, said: “As much as it’s tinged with sadness that it’s not our crematorium, I’m absolutely delighted that the needs of people in that area are now being served by the crematorium.
“We as a firm have found the management and staff to be excellent and they share the same values as us in always putting bereaved families first.”
Mayor Barnes said: “We are just so lucky to have this special place, because it’s absolutely stunning and very tastefully done. We couldn’t ask for anything better.”