Butterflies, bereavement and memories

Published on 1st March 2019

Windchimes in blossom tree at crematorium

Council’s contractor, Willmott Dixon, provides handcrafted bereavement memory boxes and begins planting for the butterfly garden at new chapel and crematorium site.

As the new state of the art chapels stand proudly in front of the Cotswold stone landscape the spring will soon see a fluttering of activity with further developments for a children’s nature trail and sculptural installations.

Shrubs and butterfly rich wild flowers will be planted as the seasons develop providing an enhancement to the tranquil spaces surrounding the buildings and views towards the escarpment.

In addition the current children’s burial ground section has benefited from recent planting of silver birch and beech trees and a shrub and herbaceous mixed border to offer a more personal and private area for families to reflect.

Sophie Paterson, assistant community liaison manager at Willmott Dixon, says: “We’re pleased that the area to the rear of the chapels will include meadowland, mown paths, a children’s nature trail and seating for people to experience the local wildlife that is in the area.

“The children’s burial area enhancements also offer families a more inviting space to occupy when visiting and remembering their loved ones. The addition of a bespoke reflection house will allow children and young people the opportunity to reflect and write notes and leave mementos to their loved ones and create new memories, regardless of ability.

“We were also pleased to accept the offer from our carpenters to create some bereavement memory boxes from some locally donated larch and ironmongery. Once complete, these will be offered to families who have lost children, and will be available from the Bereavement Services team at the Crematorium.”

Ben Jenkins, bereavement services manager, continues: “All teams who have worked delivering this project have worked extraordinarily hard. The handcrafted memory boxes from Willmott Dixon will I’m sure be treasured keepsakes for bereaved families.”

Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green environment says: “Our beautiful new chapels will take full advantage of their tranquil environment. Cheltenham’s new facilities will provide an outstanding service for our residents, the surrounding areas, and all who will use our bereavement services.”

To find out more about the new chapels and bereavement services visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/new-crem.

For press enquiries contact the communications team on 01242 264332 or email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk


An open day has been arranged from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 2 March so that members of the public can visit and view the new buildings and grounds.

Following public consultation, 86 per cent of responses were in favour of building a new facility rather than continuing to use or modify the current buildings.

The architects, Roberts Limbrick of Gloucester, created a sensitive contemporary design that is appropriate to the 21st century but which respects the local context and character whilst providing a much needed modern cremation service for bereaved families.

Following major £8.5m redevelopment works, the first services are set to be held in Cheltenham’s new crematorium at Bouncer’s Lane Cemetery on Monday 4 March 2019. Bookings for cremations are being taken for Monday 4 March 2019 onwards.