Letter: End to point scoring at funerals

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I agree with your correspondent, the Rev Simon J Reed (Letters, 30 July), that many ministers of religion do render true and rewarding funerals.

That some ministers do not is evidenced by the comments heard by humanist officiants, such as myself. Stories of families hurt by the blithe assurance and production line techniques of ministers come from many families that we visit.

The Rev Reed states "Humanists naturally have their own reasons for putting out a message that religious services are no good." No, that would be counter-productive and is not what Nigel Collins (Letters, 28 July) was saying and the reason is this.

Those that take humanist funerals are volunteers, as opposed to the salaried ministers of religion. All requests are referred directly by families and funeral directors that have witnessed our work. We do not advertise, yet the number of requests is increasing at more than 15 per cent per annum. A mighty social change is in progress and rather than being promoted by the humanists, it is at the direct request of the public.


Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire