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Why did it take so long for cremation to become acceptable?

Montage of images showing an article printed in Pharos, front cover of a leafet published by the Cremation Society and a picture of Enfield Crematorium.

Montage of images showing extract of an article printed in Pharos, front cover of a leaflet published by the Cremation Society and a picture of Enfield Crematorium.

More and more people in the UK today are choosing cremation as part of the funeral process. In fact, over 70% of people in this country are cremated after they die. It cannot be denied, therefore, that cremation is now widely regarded as acceptable to people of many faiths, including Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs.

However, it is only relatively recently that cremation has been deemed acceptable in this country. Although the first official cremation took place in 1885 it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that its use started to increase.

Why was this the case? There were many reasons why people were initially opposed to cremation but much of the opposition stemmed from people's beliefs about life after death. We're going to use some material from the archive of the Cremation Society of Great Britain, a body established to promote the use of cremation, to find out more about this particular rite of passage.

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