New research reveals the unusual ways people are personalising their funerals in Leicestershire

Central England Co-operative Funeralcare today publishes its third annual report into how its customers are bringing together an array of elements from their personal life to help create their own bespoke funerals - including everything from a life-size batman floral tribute to a heavy metal inspired send-off.

Based on feedback of colleagues from Funeral Homes in Leicestershire, the survey has revealed that more than 65% of funerals now include some kind of personalisation including unique dress, coffins, transport and flowers.

The research by the Society has also highlighted how new technology is having an ever increasing role in funerals including family photos being played to music on big screens, people beaming services across the world via the internet and others creating a video of the service, saving it to a USB stick and handing it out to mourners as a keepsake.


Some of the most recent examples of personalisation from the past 12 months include:

  • Floral displays becoming more personalised with creations based on favourite pets, football club badges, Star Wars, bingo cards, trains and even a replica of superhero Batman
  • A 1920s lorry, a biscuit lorry, and even a steam traction engine have been used as an alternative to a  hearse
  • A mixture of different coloured clothing for funeral directors and congregation including black, green and glittery pink
  • Football themed funerals has been an area that has grown over the past 12 months, with one celebration for a Burton Albion fan including a club flag across the coffin, funeral colleagues wearing club ties and personalised yellow flowers
  • A heavy metal themed funeral which included an all-black coffin, his favourite tracks being played throughout the service and a collection of band t-shirts being on display
  • A coffin that was made up of hundreds of photos of the loved one who had passed away to create a memorial collage


The choice of music is another extremely personal touch with Central England Co-op research revealing that comedic hits by the likes of Monty Python and Morecambe and Wise are now among the most played, alongside old favourites such as the number one requested funeral song at Central England Co-op – ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra.

Other requests have included football anthems such as ‘You will never walk alone, theme tunes from TV shows such as ‘Eastenders’, pop music, songs from musicals such as ‘The Greatest Showman’ and ‘Les Miserables’ and one family even asked for the Crazy Frog ringtone to be played at a service.

One recent trend that is on the rise is for families to bring their own instruments and play songs live at ceremonies.

This year Funeral Directors were asked for the first time to talk about the major new trends they were seeing in the industry.

The responses included funerals now becoming more environmentally friendly, more pets being welcome at funerals and families wanting to conduct the services themselves

This shift towards personalisation has also coincided with a notable rise in people opting to sign up to pre-paid funeral plans or to fill out a funeral wishes form to ensure they get the tailored send-off that they want and also to ensure that the costs do not fall on their family following their death.

Kevin Crute, Head of Funeral at Central England Co-operative, said: “Our research has shown once again that our families continue to want personalise their funerals and the funerals of their loved ones.

“We are proud at Central England Co-op to have an excellent array of Funeral Directors and arrangers who make it their mission to do everything they can to help families during their time of need including helping people to personalise their loved ones funeral to make it unique to them and reflect the life they have lived.

“This growing trend of personalisation shines a spotlight in the importance of planning ahead and ensuring people know your wishes for your funeral.

“We would advise people to pre-plan if there’s something specific that they would like for their funeral service. The other consideration is that pre-planning lessens the financial burden and decision making for your next of kin at a difficult and emotional time. A pre-planned funeral means that the family can take some comfort from the fact that the person who’s passed away is having their wishes met.”

Central England Co-op funeral plans are fully guaranteed – meaning that there will never be more to pay for the services chosen.

All of the funeral plans include the funeral director’s fees and services, hearse and personnel, cremation or burial fee and minister’s fees.

People can find out more about personalised funerals and pre-paid plans by visiting or call 0800 454 552.


Notes to editors


About Central England Co-operative


Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.


The company’s funeral business consists of over 120 funeral homes across 16 counties, 10 florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.


Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


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