News-Antique.com - Feb 23,2010 - An independent Stroud funeral director who provides funeral services throughout Gloucestershire and Wiltshire is urging local crematoria to install online filming and recording facilities in their chapels to enable family members, who cannot attend, the chance to pay their respects.
The system involves a small camera at the back of the chapel, linked to the internet so it streams the proceedings live online. The 'livetime' funeral can also be recorded onto a DVD as a permanent record of the event.
The innovative step is the brainchild of James Showers, of Family Tree Funeral Company, who said: "With families increasingly scattered, separated by distance, by busy schedules or just the sheer inability to travel, such as our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, this technology makes it possible to gather scattered mourners into one community and enable them to attend."
The idea has so far received positive reactions and pioneer James continues: "I believe we have a duty to identify and embrace new ideas if they serve a family looking to give their loved-one a more personal and meaningful farewell."
The service which would bring funeral arrangements in to the 21st Century would cost around £50 and security of online viewing would be kept completely in the hands of the family concerned as they would be provided with passwords to access the funeral from their computers.
Crematoria who have been contacted so far include: Westerleigh Crematorium,Yew Tree Brake in the Forest of Dean, Kingsdown Crematorium in Swindon, Gloucester Crematorium, and Cheltenham. Of these, only Westerleigh has the Wesley Music System, upon whose technology the live streaming of funerals across the worldwide web depends.
James concludes: "While funeral professionals are a pretty conservative lot, I believe we'd all agree we should do our best not to leave anyone out if the technology is there to include them."
About: James Showers is the owner of Family Tree Funeral Company, who provide funeral assistance throughout Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. You can visit their website at www.FamilyTreeFunerals.co.uk.