ABOUT US

We are independent funeral directors based in the beautiful Cornish countryside just outside Truro on the Roseland. We started The Cornish Funeral Company in 2014 after arranging a funeral for my (Katrina’s) father following his sudden and unexpected death in 2012. Since then we have altered our premises and developed a comprehensive range of products and services that are professional, personal and bespoke with a focus on customer choice, gently meeting the needs and wishes of the deceased and their loved ones.

We have learnt so much over the past seven years and appreciate that each bereavement differs. We are pleased to be part of the movement addressing the subject of death and funerals so that families and friends can claim back their natural involvement in the process.

We provide a caring, respectful and extremely dignified service, treating all clients with compassion and respect.  Each funeral is designed around the wishes of the individual, their family and friends – promoting an affordable and transparent service.  Our commitment to offering environmentally-friendly and green funerals is evidenced by our premises, general approach, choice of coffins and shrouds, our sustainability policy and our efforts to offset our environmental impact, so you can rest assured that by choosing us you are also helping to address environmental concerns. 

OUR STORY

How we started

It is nine years now since my father died, suddenly and “before his time”. Nine years since a phone call woke the family and plunged us into the pain that surrounds the death of a loved one. Luckily my mother and I were able to be with my father when he died which was a real gift and I believe that that last contact made us feel reluctant to let others (apart from the necessary hospital staff) look after my father.

My sister arrived from London later on that day and, after a short discussion, we decided that we would like to arrange the funeral ourselves – it seemed more personal as well as fitting for my father who had never been conventional.

Due to the nature of my father’s death, there had to be a post mortem which was inconclusive so there was to be an inquest at a later date to determine the exact cause of death – this can be important for insurance reasons. In the meantime we were given an interim death certificate and told that the funeral could be arranged. The Coroner’s officers were surprised that we were acting as the funeral directors and there was no general knowledge that we could. “Most unusual” and “Are you sure?” were common retorts. But we knew that we were doing right and as my father would have wanted. In fact, we were surprised by how straight forward it was to make the funeral arrangements and to complete all the necessary paperwork.

The mortuary staff were brilliant and, when the time came, placed my father into the willow coffin that we bought off eBay along with a pillow and blanket. The staff at the crematorium helped us with the process of booking and arranging the service. The service was to be small with only my mother, my sister and myself, our husbands and children. We planned to hold a big memorial a few weeks later when family and friends could come from upcountry and abroad.

The service was non-religious as my father was a pantheist and it reflected his love of poetry and classical music. Choosing the music was the most difficult task and we wished that my father had let us know what he would have liked.

The funeral day arrived. We erected a gazebo on the lawn and a table scattered with wild flowers. Terry and my brother-in-law went to collect my father from the mortuary in the hire car we had booked for use as a hearse. The florist arrived and we drank tea and ate fruit cake as we waited for the boys to return and place my father’s coffin on the table outside for the florist to get to work. The willow coffin was truly beautiful with the flowers artistically arranged on top. We placed my father’s summer hat amongst them as a finishing touch before gathering around to have a last glass of sherry with him on the lawn. Two good friends who had volunteered to drive arrived and we gently lifted the coffin in and set off to the crematorium.

We had no official celebrant, having decided to take the service ourselves. Three of us spoke – a eulogy, a reading and two poems – all interspersed with beautiful music, the notes of which rose and swirled poignantly towards the roof as they mingled with the spiralling smoke of sandalwood joss sticks. The curtains closed to the sound of Tuscan birdsong. A meal for the eight of us in a quiet room at a local restaurant rounded off the sad day.

It felt as if death was hovering over us that year. My aunt in Canada died in February, nine weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was too soon after my father and knocked us back emotionally. Barely a month after that, we had our next confrontation with death when I was visited by the police to be informed that a friend, Tom, had been found dead in a hotel in Newquay. With no family in England, I was treated as the next of kin, had to identify him, helped the authorities contact his teenage son in Canada and was approached regarding the funeral arrangements.

Tom had been a troubled soul. He had no will, no savings and certainly no means of paying for the funeral. Cremation seemed obvious as we wanted to scatter his ashes on his parents’ grave up in Scotland and send some to his son. I called a couple of funeral directors, trying to cut the costs to the bare minimum, but could not get lower than £2,000. Happy to do the legwork ourselves, we still could not afford the cost of the cremation, certificates and coffin. We gave up after weeks of unsuccessfully exploring other options and Cornwall Council took over to arrange a public health funeral. The funeral took place at 9am with no flowers and no opportunity to personalise the service. We were unable to take Tom’s ashes away and they were scattered in the garden of remembrance by the staff.

The process of Tom’s funeral raised many issues for us and we began to research the different options open to those unable to afford a funeral and also those who would like to plan their own funerals. Looking back and knowing what we do now, there are some things that we feel could have been done differently but we did not have the knowledge then. We do not consider ourselves to be funeral directors in the traditional sense – more as “funeral friends” who offer as much or as little help and support as you would like to organise the best possible funeral for your loved one.

Our Ethos

Tread lightly upon the Earth…

It is a real privilege to work with the bereaved and dying.

Honesty, integrity and respect

Transparency

 

OUR PREMISES

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We care for the deceased in our Resting Place based in the beautiful Cornish countryside near Truro on the Roseland. Here we are pleased to welcome bereaved family and friends to meet with us in a sympathetic environment to make the necessary funeral arrangements as well as those wanting to plan their own funeral in advance. Our Resting Place is a tranquil space where you can visit, hold a vigil or even help us to wash and dress your loved one as part of your personal farewell journey.

 

Over the past year we have been busy building a walled garden where we can meet, hold small, personal vigils and ceremonies as well as small bereavement support groups.

 

In line with our environmental ethos and to help offset our carbon footprint, in early 2021 we planted a flowering hedge of over 300 native flowering trees in an effort to support our local pollinators and to represent the 300 plus funerals that we have done since we started in 2014. The hedge overlooks our newly-sown wildflower meadow which will also help to support a diverse range of native insects and pollinators.

TESTIMONIALS

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We highly recommend The Cornish Funeral Company.

Our family lost our mother and father during the summer. Their deaths were not unexpected as they were both in their late eighties. Still, when mother died we were unprepared and being new to Cornwall we had to start from scratch.

Within a few minutes of starting an internet search we came across The Cornish Funeral Company. The website had an instant appeal because it had some practical links and in the ‘blurb’ there was reference to ‘affordable’ funerals. Although as a family we are in a better situation than many others we are wary of paying for unnecessary costs or adding costs because someone says we ought to.

We contacted Katrina who runs the company with Terry. She arranged a meeting with us. The meeting was simple and explored the whole process. Katrina wanted us to say what we wanted with an emphasis on allowing us to talk about how we felt. Gradually she revealed all of the details that we just didn’t know about but were essential for a satisfactory funeral.

Due to the careful work and preparation done by Katrina the ceremony was a real success making all present feel that we gave mother a suitable send off.

Sadly a few weeks later our father also died and again we contacted Katrina and Terry. The same care and attention to detail was given and, although the ceremony was different to reflect the preference of father, it was again a success.

The Cornish Funeral Company can be relied on to make all arrangements professionally and will treat everyone with respect, care and dignity. Funeral arrangements are effective, comprehensive and affordable.

BJ

Thank you

 

 Dear Katrina and Terry

 I just wanted to write and thank you both personally for your thoughtful and professional help in arranging everything for Sam’s funeral. 

As I know you are aware, it was so hard, so emotional but you eased the burden, took away the worries and made it so so much more bearable. Just taking us through exactly what was possible (anything it seems)  made all the difference. 

Many people have said what a lovely, moving and personal service it was, and Marion the Celebrant that you introduced us to was wonderful.

It was a very fitting service for Sam and thank you again for making her last journey so very special.

 Kind regards

Bev Stenhouse

X

 

Hello Katrina and Terry

 I just wanted to send you such a big thank you. Not only for all your professionalism and the perfect way you enable people to have the service which is right for them, but also for being you and having that look in your eyes which shows you really care. 

You made such a huge, huge difference to us and helped us through the worst days of our lives. 

 Jacqui 

9th May 2016

 

Hi Katrina,
On behalf of the family I would like to say that your kindness, patience, warmth and understanding when aiming to meet our many little, albeit important requirements was appreciated more than words could say. We were able to say goodbye to a Husband, Dad and Papa in our own way and in a way that he wanted us to. Thank you so much to Terry for driving Dad to his last resting place with rock ‘n’ roll playing in the car….he would have laughed and loved it.

Thank you so much once again and if anybody would like to contact me for a reference, they can.
Donna xx

 

My sister passed away unexpectedly in Cornwall and I was left to arrange her funeral, living over two hundred miles away. I searched the Internet and discovered the Cornish Funeral Company, who I contacted.  Katrina was wonderful with her help, advice and professionalism; choosing the type of funeral that was affordable and a choice of coffin. She kept me updated with the necessary requirements for cremation, service and recommended a celebrant. I have to say the service was beautiful.  I chose a coffin made of sea grass and I was impressed with the quality. A fitting tribute to my sister, I know she would have approved.  Thank you Katrina and the Cornish Funeral Company.  Highly recommended, I can’t thank you enough for your help and compassion.
B.H

 

Dear Katrina,
We would just like to say how much we appreciated your caring and yet very professional  handling of Wendi’s funeral. From the outset we found you most helpful and sympathetic to our concerns.Everyone we have spoken to commented on how well things went and what a successful occasion it was.
Both you and your husband were excellent and we will certainly highly recommend you should we come across anyone who, like us at an emotional time has to shoulder the responsibility of organisation of a funeral. You were the answer to our prayers.
With our sincere and genuine thanks,

Derek and Ding Buckett

 

I was delighted with the support and service I received from The Cornish Funeral Company.  It was a relief to discover that I could meet my Aunt’s wishes and omit the pomp and ceremony that traditionally accompanies funerals.  I did not realise that apart from the legal paperwork, funerals can be a completely personal affair.  We were able to celebrate my Aunt’s life through music and reflection through the words of someone who knew her really well avoiding any reference to the religion that she rejected in her later years.  The Cornish Funeral Company provided a professional and efficient service and at a very reasonable cost.  I recommend the company without reservation.
S. K

 

In the midst of the shock and sadness of the sudden passing of my father came the Wagstaffs, directors of the Cornish Funeral Company. With discretion and empathy they helped us to achieve the funeral we wanted for my father.  With a willow casket adorned with his favourite flowers, we found the personalised style of funeral deeply moving and almost uplifting.   After the cremation we felt my father would have whole heartedly approved of his send-off.   No hesitation in recommending this service, I hope for a similar send-off.
F. R

THE TEAM

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We would like to thank all those who have helped and supported us on our journey. Also a big “thank you” to Ali Green from for her photography, Jessie Carr from Cornish Willow Coffins and Beth from The Flower Hut, all of whose work is featured in this website.