W.S. BRISTER & SON LTD
WHEN YOUR FAMILY SUFFERS THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE, WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT, GUIDE AND REASSURE YOU – EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
We have been serving Sherborne and the surrounding towns and villages for over fifty years. By operating from one branch, with a small dedicated team, we offer a level of personal and dignified care that exceeds all expectations.
Please feel free to contact Teresa or Daniel with your queries.
Tel: 01935 812647
We are here for you.
What to do when someone dies
When a death occurs, contact us as soon as possible.
A funeral director will be available to deal with questions and to begin making the necessary arrangements.
When people pass away in hospital, it is not always necessary for us to attend immediately. Our staff, however, will be at hand for reassurance and advice.
You are not alone.
When you lose someone you love, the grief can be all-consuming.
Everyone is different and you will react to the loss in a way that is unique to you.
It can help to talk with someone outside your immediate family or to someone who has been through a similar experience.
When you are grieving it is normal to feel disbelief, numbness, anger, physical and mental pain, guilt, depression and regret. Thinking you're seeing or hearing someone who has died can also be a common experience. Which can be both distressing and comforting.
The old adage ‘time heals’ is true but the reality is that grief takes a different course for us all and sometimes we need a little help.
You can talk to religious ministers, hospital chaplains or people from organisations that help bereaved people. The following are available for support:
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse helps the bereaved to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Services are free. The charity provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services.
Day by Day Helpline : 08444 779400
The Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Telephone: 08457 909090
Child Bereavement Charity
The Child Bereavement Charity provides specialised support, information and training to all those affected when a baby or child dies, or when a child is bereaved.
Telephone: 01494 446648 or visit www.childbereavement.org.uk
The British Humanist Association
The national charity supporting and representing people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.
Telephone: 02070 793 580 or visit www.humanism.org.uk
Offering support to bereaved children, young people, parents and carers.
Telephone: 01258 837071
Situated in the historic Abbey town of Sherborne, we consider ourselves extremely privileged to continue to serve the local community.
When your family suffers the loss of a loved one, we are here to support, guide and reassure you -
every step of the way.
We provide 24hr care 7 days a week
The office is open
Mon - Fri: 9am-5pm
Please call for an appointment.
HOW WE MANAGE DONATIONS AT FUNERALS
It is common practice these days for funeral notices to state ‘family flowers only’ and express a preference for charitable donations to be made ‘in lieu of flowers’. This can bring comfort to a family when they are raising funds for a cause close to their loved one’s heart or wish to build awareness for a relevant charity.
Traditionally funeral directors have taken on the responsibility for managing such charitable donations, collecting cash on the day of the funeral or receiving cheques (and sometimes cash) in the post and banking the donations on a family’s behalf.
This may sound a simple enough process, but collecting donations, ensuring security of funds, witnessing of counting cash, banking and accounting for charity collections creates a significant and time consuming administrative task. It also presents a potential risk in terms of loss, fraud or disputes about amounts donated or raised.
At a time when funeral costs have risen significantly, it is administrative tasks like these that help to inflate funeral director’s fees. The necessity for this task is highly questionable, given the introduction of more efficient and transparent mechanisms for collecting donations.
In today’s increasingly cashless and cheque-less society, the rise of online platforms like JustGivingare fast becoming the norm for charitable donations at funerals.
As part of our service for full service funerals, we create an online tribute page for each family to make it easy to share the funeral details. When a family wishes to collect donations for a charity (or charities) we advise families step by step on how to set up an "in memory" fundraising page which enables friends and family to easily donate online. We then add a ‘donate’ button to link to the family’s chosen charity or fundraising page. This means all the details associated with the funeral – including fundraising – are in one place. We also include the website link on the printed Order of Service so that donations can be made after the funeral.
It makes it far easier to add Gift Aid to the amount raised for charities, increasing donations by 25%.
We appreciate that some family members or friends may not be familiar with how to donate online and still wish to write a cheque or put cash into a charity envelope. A solution that we can provide for this is a portable, sealable donation box at the funeral which can also be displayed at the Wake. The family can then take this away, thank those who have donated and organise transferring the donations to the charity.
Over 80% of funerals are cremation. Whilst a collection table may be manageable in a church, the facilities at crematoriums are basic and are not set up to do this. Time constraints between services mean people are expected to leave the chapel quickly. This means any cash or cheque donations can only take place at the reception venue which we as the funeral director do not generally attend, so our policy is for the family to look after the donations.
The transparency, ease and awareness of online donations has massively reduced the demand we see from families for us as funeral directors to oversee charitable donations at funerals. This benefits families directly, as removing the administrative burden and responsibility from the funeral director reduces their overheads, resulting in lower overall fees paid by the family.
As a progressive funeral director who aims to eliminate unnecessary expenditure where possible, we strongly support this evolution in how charitable donations at funerals are managed.
HOW TO SET UP A FREE "IN MEMORY" FUNDRAISING PAGE
You can use JustGiving to create an online page in memory of your loved one where family and friends can donate to your chosen charity. Donations are often requested in lieu of funeral flowers and this makes it easy to manage the process.
Here are the steps you need to follow to create an online fundraising page using JustGiving:
STEP 1: First steps
Go to justgiving.com
Click on ‘Start fundraising’
Select ‘A charity’
STEP 2: Log in / create account
You will then be asked to create an account. If you already have a JustGiving account yourself, simply log in to it. If you do not have a JustGiving account, you’ll need to set one up using either the Facebook login or email / password option.
STEP 3: Setting up the page
Search for the charity you wish to support and select it
For ‘What are you doing’ select the ‘Remembering Someone’ option
Complete the form, including a unique fundraising web address. For the following questions:
Gift Aid – select YES
Once you have completed all the options, select ‘Create your page’
STEP 4: Personalising the page
You can then personalise the page as follows:
Upload a cover photo
Give the page a headline, e.g. In Memory of [Name]
Set a fundraising goal
Complete the ‘Tell your story’ section
STEP 5: Promoting the page
Once you have created your page, copy the URL (web address in the top bar) and use this link to ask for donations.
If Brister and son Ltd are creating an online Funeral Notice for you, we will need this link for the funeral notice page.
You can also send donations to the charity directly and use the ‘Raised offline’ function to add these to your page so they’re included in your fundraising total – see this help page
To delete a JustGiving page, click to edit the page and in Page Settings select ‘Cancel your page’
For more help see Raising money in memory of a loved one
HOW FUNERALS CAN COST LESS
Recently the ITV Tonight programme ‘Funerals: The True Cost’ highlighted the vulnerable position families may face when planning a funeral. The cost of funerals has risen substantially over the last decade – enough to trigger an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. Of particular interest has been the corporate influence within the funeral sector.
But the cost of funerals is far from the only issue. The typical approach has seen families presented with rigid packages that assume you want a hearse, procession and traditional coffin – the choice being how many limousines to order.
The reality is you have more options. Tradition has its place, we help plan many traditional style funerals. But we have also seen a growing trend for a simpler no-fuss approach, where the family can gather to say farewell in a less formal way.
For example, you don’t have to have a hearse for transport and pallbearers carrying the coffin. We often use our hearsette and pre-place the coffin in the chapel before the family enter. Flowers do not have to be large coffin sprays, a bespoke bouquet looks beautiful and can be enjoyed at home afterwards. It’s all about personal choice. Should you not wish to drive yourself to the funeral, executive cars can be hired from a local taxi firm. We see many thoughtful family-led services, where families run the service themselves. Or if you need a guiding hand a celebrant or minister can create a service for you.
Families we help are often pleasantly surprised to find that a meaningful, elegant funeral can be achieved at a far lower cost than expected. As independent funeral directors, our starting point is always what will be right for the family.
Covid regulations have led to attendance restrictions, so if you are faced with planning a funeral, do call us on 01935 812647 and let us help to guide you.