Funeral directors, celebrants, members of the clergy and senior representatives from many organisations within the bereavement sector came together for a Service of Dedication at Sirhowy Valley Crematorium.
The facility is part of Westerleigh Group, the UK’s largest independent owner and operator of crematoria and cemeteries, with 36 other sites across England, Scotland and Wales, all set within beautifully-landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.
It is Westerleigh Group’s tradition to dedicate a new crematorium to its community, an occasion which usually takes place approximately 12 months after its opening.
Sirhowy Valley Crematorium opened in February 2021. It was originally planned to hold the Service of Dedication in Autumn of that year but, like so many events, it had to be postponed because of the pandemic.
The service of Dedication was led by Father Mark Owen, The Church of Wales Area Dean, who was joined by Teify Ebeneezer, a local Baptist Minister, and civil celebrants John Thompson and Gwyn Davies.
Father Mark expressed his gratitude for Sirhowy Valley Crematorium, which meant grieving families no longer faced a long journey in order to honour their lost loved ones.
He said it was important for the bereaved to be able to mourn and that Sirhowy Valley Crematorium offered a beautiful, local setting while its staff provided exceptional care.
Teify Ebeneezer also praised the team at the crematorium for ensuring that ‘nothing requested is ever too much trouble’ when it comes to caring for the bereaved.
Sirhowy Valley Crematorium Site Manager Jon Deacon thanked everyone for supporting the crematorium since it opened, especially given all the restrictions introduced in response to the coronavirus crisis.
He said he was proud that his team had been able to take care of the loved ones of so many local families since Sirhowy Valley Crematorium opened.
Ed Lane, Westerleigh Group’s Operations Director, gave an address which outlined the journey that was taken from the first suggestions that a new Crematorium was needed to identifying a site and then constructing the crematorium.
Sirhowy Valley Crematorium, built in the heart of Wales.
Where we gather for a service, share stories and many tales.
Of a loved ones life and memories, and all they did achieve,
Here in this place where many, get the chance to grieve.
Far more than a building, this is a special place,
Where we say goodbye to loved ones, we never can replace.
So, these last and touching moments, forever will they stay.
And everyone involved here, has a part they have to play.
And of course, memorial burials where some ashes placed to rest,
Here in landscaped gardens that really are the best,
Duck ponds lawn and bushes, and there they’ll be a part,
There at rest for ever and also in your heart.
Far more than a job to staff, a warm and gentle smile,
And everything they do here is done with so much style.
From the gardener to the office staff a team you will not beat,
All of them will play a part to make this day complete.
From the moment where they meet you, and greet you at the door,
Nothing’s too much trouble, could not do any more.
Surrounded by your family, neighbours and good friends,
But none of us that certain if the story ever ends.
I hope there is a Heaven, I hope we meet again,
And clinging to that hope I have, helps relieve the pain.
So, in these great surroundings, as you say your last goodbyes,
Try to dry those tears and wipe them from your eyes.
As you look back and remember, those times that were the best,
And to have those years together truly were you blessed.
No Dedication service would be complete without music and singing, especially in Wales.
Several hymns were sung by the congregation and soloist Kaysha Louvaine performed moving versions of Bridge Over Trouble Water and The Impossible Dream.
The service was followed by lunch in a marquee at the site.
Mr Deacon said: “It was a dignified and beautiful service, and I would like to thank everyone who attended and who has supported Sirhowy Valley Crematorium since we started serving the local community.”
To find out more about Stirlingshire Crematorium, visit www.sirhowyvalleycrem.co.uk