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BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

News and Current Affairs
SHOP TALK
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Tuesdays 16:00-16:30
Intelligent and entertaining conversation about business, money, technology and workplace issues.

Presented by Heather Payton, each programme picks up on trends and returns to stories that have moved out of the headlines.
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Listen to Shop Talk for 19 October 2004
PRESENTER
HEATHER PAYTON
Heather Payton
 
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 19 October 2004
An image of a LifeGem diamond, image copyright - LifeGem.
a LifeGem diamond, (©LifeGem)

FUNERALS

They say that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. As you might expect of one of life’s few certainties, the business of death can be very lucrative - the UK funeral market is worth 800 million pounds a year.

Although our vision of funerals runs deep - the hearse, the black clothes, the frock-coated undertaker, the graveside, and preferably some inclement weather to complete the picture - it’s an industry which is facing quite an upheaval.

These days for a start more than seventy percent of us opt for cremation, not burial, a trend started through lack of space after the war and given a nudge by the Pope lifting the ban on cremation for Catholics in the 1960’s.

Huge social changes mean that many of us want non-religious funerals or eco-friendly burials. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other groups also want their own funerals.

A continuing shortage of land for burials has brought calls for existing graves to be re-used. However, a recent survey by Cooperative Funeral Care has found that six out of ten of us would not want to share a grave with a stranger.

At present anyone can set up as a funeral director, which raises another issue: should the industry be regulated?

GUESTS

John Weir
funeral director

Annie Kiff-Wood
volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care

Ibrahim Mogra
Chair of the Mosque and Community Affairs Committee for the Muslim Council of Britain

Lesley Leon
Communications Manager of Dignity

Tim Beresford
General Manager of LifeGem

Co-op Funeral show-room in Walthamstow)



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