Steve McCabe MP was delighted to visit A Natural Undertaking in Kings Heath, an independent community funeral director serving a large area across Birmingham.
Since founding the company in 2014, Carrie Weeks and Fran Glover have maintained A Natural Undertaking’s commitment to providing families with the freedom to choose what kind of funeral is right for them, while trailblazing with a number of green and environmental options including an electric hearse and sustainably-sourced coffins.
Sitting with Steve in their brightly lit welcoming room, Carrie and Fran explained that they had both previously had bad experiences of funerals and felt like it partly stemmed from the societal taboo around speaking about death. This inspired them to leave their jobs and start up their own small business as undertakers.
‘A funeral is not just a product you buy from High Street’ Carrie explained, ‘it’s a ritual, it’s too important to leave to the High Street’. Fran agreed, adding that ‘50% of [A Natural Undertaking’s] business is about education and demystifying funerals’. As well as running a company which handles two to three funerals per week, Carrie and Fran are also involved in programmes to encourage people to be more open about death and about their funeral wishes, including taking part in Birmingham’s Death and Dying Festival.
Steve McCabe said: ‘I had a fascinating and informative afternoon at A Natural Undertaking and I would like to thank Carrie and Fran for showing me around. I think they are absolutely right that as a society we are too reticent to talk openly and honestly about death and funerals, and I am very impressed by the innovation they have shown in making environmentalism such a key part of their practice and ethos.’