A SERVICE of dedication of The Vale Crematorium took place on Tuesday 10th September. It was well attended by local funeral directors, clergy, funeral celebrants and senior representatives of professional organisations from the bereavement sector.

Also in attendance were: Cllr Frances Smith, the chairman of Wychavon District Council; Cllr Mark Goodge, Mayor of Evesham; Cllr Chris Parsons and Jan Parsons, town mayor and mayoress of Pershore.

Crematorium manager Marian Webb welcomed the congregation and thanked everyone for attending.

The service of dedication was led by Rt Rev Robert Paterson, Honorary Assistant Bishop of Worcester. He spoke about the gifts of grace, mercy and peace and the importance of the crematorium chapel being a sacred place where those whose hearts are broken with grief can find healing.

The Bishop blessed the chapel and described it as a place where services for those of all faiths, or those with no beliefs, could be held in accordance with the wishes of each family.

The Bishop referred to a poem read by Pip Challenge – Do It Anyway – a version found on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, which resonates with so many people.

The Vale Crematorium opened on December 11 last year.

The Vale Crematorium is situated bordering the two communities of Pershore and Evesham, and has been designed in the local rural character so it blends well into the countryside.

It offers a place of peace and seclusion, so important for a funeral, providing a natural place for families to hold the dignified service of their choice – not only for those from Evesham and Pershore but residents of towns and villages across the local area of the Vale of Evesham.

James Willis, chief executive of Westerleigh Group, who own and operate 34 crematoria across the UK, spoke of his pride in the company, which offers first-class facilities, beautiful and tranquil grounds and a highly personalised service that can cater for all in the community.

He thanked all those involved in the planning and development over the past four years that has culminated in this dedication service, and made special mention of the dedicated staff at the crematorium.

After the ceremony the congregation gathered for refreshments in a marquee in the grounds, and many took the opportunity to have a guided tour behind the scenes.