New crematorium for East Devon

New crematorium set to open in a bid to relieve pressure on existing facilities serving East Devon.

A NEW crematorium is preparing to open its doors next week and aims to relieve pressure on other facilities serving the East Devon area.

The East Devon Crematorium will offer services to families from across the district and beyond - from Exmouth to Bridport.

It is located off the old A30 near Whimple and will help reduce travel times and relieve the pressure on crematoria in Exeter, Taunton, Yeovil and Weymouth.

The �4 million, privately-funded development comprises a modern building, with a single chapel and a Book of Remembrance room.

The crematorium is non-denominational and accommodates all faiths, as well as non-religious services.

The chapel, which seats up to 90 people, is among the first in the UK to offer a webcasting facility, which allows family or friends who are unable to travel to a funeral, the opportunity to view the service via a secure internet link.

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It also has an internet-based music system to allow for any piece of music to be played, while still maintaining the option of a church organist.

The new facility is privately owned and operated by East Devon Crematorium Limited, which was formed by Cornwall-based Chris Johns.

He said: “We have worked closely with local funeral directors to ensure that the facility is exactly what is needed in this area.

“We hope that East Devon Crematorium will offer an attractive and peaceful setting both for funeral services and for those seeking some time for quiet reflection.”

East Devon Crematorium is a member of BCET (Burial and Cremation Education Trust) Carbon Footprint scheme and will be striving to reduce any environmental impact.

Mr Johns added: “The crematorium strives to have as small a carbon footprint as possible.

“In the future, it will have the ability to recover heat from the boiler - that is otherwise lost to the atmosphere - to warm the building, heat water and, potentially, to heat greenhouses.

“However, we will need to invest in heat exchange equipment before we are able to do this.”

The crematorium is also equipped to deal with large coffins in response to the national increase in average body weight.

The new facility opens on Wednesday, April 13.