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[08 JUL 99] RELIGION NEWS
Coventry Offers DIY Funerals For Muslims

Coventry City Council is offering do-it-yourself funerals in a bid to cut costs.

The council is buying 10 grave liners to allow the Muslim community to bury their dead at weekends and over Bank Holidays.

The decision means that graveyard staff do not have to be on call or work anti-social hours.

Graham Duggan, environmental services manager at the council, said the liners would soon be installed at the Lentons Lane graveyard in the city.

He said:

"In the Muslim faith people have to reduce the death-to-burial time as much as possible. They are looking for a quick burial as part of their beliefs and that poses problems for burial authorities when it comes to weekends and Bank Holidays.

"We have looked at various options to improve the service. We offered a Saturday morning service and looked at providing stand-by cover but that proved too expensive.

"Muslims can use these chambers by themselves as long as the death has been registered and the paper work is in order. We will provide them with tools to open the chambers which are tamper-proof. Then our staff will cover them over when they return to work.

"Obviously, if a death occurs in the week we will be on hand to over the normal service but this will be very useful at times like Easter.

"We had 19 Muslim funerals last year so we are not talking great numbers, but this will be an improved service to their community."

Mr Duggan added that Coventry was one of the first council’s in the country to use the grave liners but said he expected them to become widely used across the UK.
 

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CWN / Religion / 8 Jul 99

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