About us / Meet the team
You would think if you wanted to run a business that cares about the planet then you wouldn’t choose funeral directing! But – that is what we have done. We believe that not to do so leaves the door open for funeral businesses to carry on as they, leaving people without any other options.
That is why we have set ourselves the challenge of making our funeral business one that has a sustainable and green ethic. We strive to make our funerals the least damaging to the planet as we possibly can.
This is why we do not offer embalming, or non biodegradable coffins which often contain plastic and other un environmentally friendly elements.
Instead what we can offer you are a number of sustainably sourced and ecologically sound options from cardboard coffins, to woollen shrouds – see our coffins page for more options. And we have alternative types of cremation to offer that are completely green as the Resomation.
The thing is, we believe that we can spend a lifetime recycling, buying and using less plastic and making careful ethical choices but the last thing we leave on this earth, ourselves, can often be overlooked.
It is not only our ethos to strive for a better greener funeral and memorial for all of our families, but also to give some of the control back to our families in terms of what happens with their loved one after their death.
Ian Parsons – Funeral Director
Hi I’m Ian Parsons founder and director of Surrey Green Burials. In my spare time I enjoy spending time fishing and walking my dog, unfortunately I don’t get to do this as much as I would like these days, as work and family seem to take up much of my time.
I have been in the funeral business now for over 20 years and after careful reflection on standard funeral methods, I decided to re direct my business in a completely new direction. After some personal loss of my own, I wondered how I might make the whole process of the funeral experience as good as I possibly could for others going through similar bereavement. I set about making my business model more personal to those bereaved. I wanted to give families and loved ones the opportunity to take back control of the funeral process – if they want it.
That is why at Surrey Green Burials we pride ourselves on being able to guide our families through the procedure in a totally meaningful way. We will never assume that we, as your funeral guide, know what is best for you.
We believe that if you and your family have all the information you need, you will be able to make informed choices about the way you want the funeral ceremony to be. By doing this we believe that the whole process will be more meaningful to each of our families and offers a greater opportunity for a deeper resolution to the grief that people suffer around death. Death is after all, at the centre of what it means to be human.
Somehow, over time funeral directing has moved away from a people centred way of working to a place where people have been virtually cut off from the process of death altogether. At Surrey Green Burials our aim is to give families the control back of what happens after death. Without this, we believe families lose the opportunity to say goodbye in ways which they may want to.
At Surrey Green Burials we offer you all the time and space you need to adjust and think. This is so important at an extremely difficult. We can be there to gently guide you through the process giving you the reigns and allowing you the space to have things how you want them.
If you want to hold your funeral at home in your garden, in a community centre or in a woodland then we can assist you to make this happen. Our fully qualified celebrant Nancy, will be on hand to help you create the rituals and ceremonial aspects of your service if you want them.
My other concern when considering where I wanted my business to go was that of the environment. Currently 75% of deaths in the UK end in cremation. This has a huge impact on the environment. We at Surrey Green Burials have been looking into alternative solutions to cremation. Although we don’t have the means currently to move entirely away from cremation – we can do our best to lower the impact on the environment in considering the materials we use. We can also offer Natural Burials at two of the most beautiful natural burial sites local to us, which of course have a much lower impact on the environment.
What we currently offer are environmentally friendly coffins and caskets which have extremely high sustainable credentials, meaning less of an impact on the environment. We have even been able to source environmentally friendly urns for peoples ashes.
We are constantly on the look out for alternative methods and greener solutions and have Resomation (water) Burials in our sights. We are hopeful that over time we can offer this as an alternative to cremation.
So many aspects of funeral traditions are damaging to the environment. That is why at Surrey Green Burials we are committed to doing things differently so as to be less impactful on the planet.
What you can expect from us is a kind and caring thoughtful and unhurried approach which puts you back in control of the process, so that you can take responsibility for your loved one in a way which reflects what you or they want from a good and wholesome funeral.