A study from Reading University, UK, argues that diversity-ready cemeteries, crematoria and remembrance sites are a necessary but currently neglected aspect of an inclusive and integrated multicultural society, concluding that  addressing these issues will contribute to greater social well-being and a more inclusive civic culture:

Abstract

Having the ‘right’ sort of burial, cremation and associated rituals is important for the respectful treatment of the deceased and for those mourning them.

As society becomes more culturally diverse, so too do the requirementsfor funerary spaces and practices. Based on extensive research with local communities and service providers in four case study towns in England and Wales, this report outlines the challenges, examples of good practice and creative opportunities for cemetery and crematoria providers and users.

We argue that diversity-ready cemeteries, crematoria and remembrance sites are a necessary but currently neglected aspect of an inclusive and integrated multicultural society; addressing these issues will contribute to greater social well-being and a more inclusive civic culture.

Cemeteries of many cultures

Introduction

Diversity-Ready Cemeteries and Crematoria in England and WalesDiversity-ready cemeteries, crematoria and remembrance sites are a necessary but currently neglected aspect of an inclusive and integrated multicultural society. Addressing these issues will contribute to greater social well-being and a more inclusive civic culture.

The UK is an ethnically and religiously diverse country, shaped by longstanding ties with communities from the New Commonwealth, and other flows of internatio-nal migration, particularly within Europe.

Cemetery and crematoria provision is a little discussed but important dimension of migrant and minority experiences in England and Wales.

As society becomes more culturally diverse, so too do the requirements for funerary spaces and practices. Having the ‘right’ sort of burial, cremation and associated rituals are important for the respectful treatment of the deceased and for those mourning them.Cemeteries and crematoria are provided and managed primarily by local authorities, alongside some private providers including faith groups, non-profit and commercial services.

Planners play an important role in forward-planning for, and mediating the location of, services.

Source webpage

pdfBriefing Report

Researchers

Avril Maddrell, Yasminah Beebeejaun, Katie McClymont, Brenda Mathijssen, Danny McNally and Sufyan Abid Dogra

Overview of project

  • This research project studied cemetery and crematoria provision in the light of established minority and migrant funerary needs
  • It focused on England and Wales which have devolved but similar patterns of provision and planning systems
  • Four case study towns of broadly similar size with approximately 10% minority populations were studied: Huddersfield, Newport, Northampton and Swindon
  • Participatory research methods included mapping and photographic surveys of each cemetery and crematorium, interviews and focus groups with service providers, planners, religious and community leaders, and diverse user-groups in each tow