‘Coffin Clubs’ across Scotland spice up funerals with wacky send offs

Scots are swapping purveys for picnics as they streamline funeral plans.

Simpler services enforced during lockdown have inspired people to opt for a more DIY approach including self-assembly coffins, burial picnics and 3D printed urns.

You are reading: ‘Coffin Clubs’ across Scotland spice up funerals with wacky send offs

Now, clubs are popping up which help people choose the exact funeral they want. Traditional church services are being shunned in favour of more low-key experiences which try to better reflect the life of the person.

There are four regional branches of the Coffin Club – in Dundee, Perth, Fife and Aberdeenshire – which describes itself as “an educational platform for all your end-of-life, funeral and bereavement choices”.

Coffin Club members meet to discuss different options for their funeral arrangements and they hold craft sessions where they experiment with coffin designs and make their own “death-inspired” gifts.

Bespoke coffin designs as Scots shun traditional church funerals in favour of DIY services
Bespoke coffin designs as Scots shun traditional church funerals in favour of DIY services (Image: Carlos Alba)

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They include ceramic, 3D-printed funeral urns, printed from the last recorded heartbeat of the deceased, and interactive furniture that speaks the deceased’s work.

Among the items on sale at the Coffin Club’s online store is an IKEA-style self-assembly plywood Coffin in a Box, described as “sturdy and load-bearing”’, for £280 which can be painted.

Coffin Club member Lee Nadalutti said that while traditional religious funerals have become progressively less popular, the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have hardened attitudes.

He said: “People became used to not attending funerals for friends and loved ones. Since then, they have become more questioning whether they want to spend large amounts of money to mark the passing of loved ones.

“Fewer people think it is appropriate to pay large sums for expensive coffins or to hire limousines, particularly when household budgets are squeezed like never before.”

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In a recent survey, only 13 per cent of Scots said they favour a traditional religious ceremony – the lowest in the UK.

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