Independent Funeral Directors covering Chelmsford and Essex

A unique funeral home has been blessed by the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors, in Margaretting, was set up by husband and wife team Paul and Cheryl Yarwood off the back of their own personal experience of losing loved ones.

The couple, of Chelmsford, were determined to find a more caring and affordable way to give families everything they needed while going through the grieving process.

The family-run business now offers a complete service, from the moment a person dies, through to helping arrange the perfect personalised send-off.

The funeral home, based in the countryside at The Essex Barn, has been given a huge seal of approval by Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, who blessed the chapels of rest.

Mrs Yarwood said of the special event: “The Bishop made us laugh and shed a few tears together, as we spent time to remember those we have lost. During his very engaging service, he reminded us we are here to help families to cry as we aid them along the journey to say final their goodbyes, then help them to laugh as they remember fond times shared.”

Florist Vikki Browne, of Earls Colne, not only provides floral tributes via the funeral home, but turned to the Yarwood’s when her own mother died.

Vikki, who attended the blessing, said: “I made the call to Paul when my mother died at 9 o’clock at night. He asked if we wanted him to come immediately or to give us some time. He came, as requested, at 11pm and was wearing a shirt and tie – I know of undertakers who would come out wearing a hoody; you want some smartness at a time like that.

I have been in this business for 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like Secure Haven. The rooms they offer and the location are so unique. They are very inventive and forward-thinking – they don’t tell you what they offer, they ask you what you want and then help you to make it happen. We wanted some Marie Curie daffodils for the service; within 24 hours, they had sorted it. They go above and beyond and take the pressure off.

We recently lost my grandmother and as she lived in a different region we couldn’t use Secure Haven. The difference in the service we got from another undertaker was unbelievable.

You want that personal, human touch. You feel as though you can be with the team at Secure Haven for ten minutes or three days; they would make you feel welcome regardless.”

The Secure Haven team – including funeral director Kate Brew – pride themselves on offering not only comforting, homely surroundings, but also transparent pricing.

Mr Yarwood said: “We realise this is a very difficult time for families and feel they should know exactly what is offered and for what price before making arrangements with us.

Our facility centres solely on making families feel ‘at home’ and in a place of comfort and relaxation while they make their important funeral choices.

Having lost my parents and been through the process of arranging a funeral, I was determined to make the experience of losing a loved one as easy and caring as possible by making the wishes of the family the focus.”

Secure Haven, based in Coptfold Hall Farm, offers storage of ashes in lockable individual oak niches, a modern life celebration room, a homely visitation room, grief counselling and a range of keepsakes for ashes.