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New crematorium for Wealden

The majority of cremations we organise for families take place at the Kent and Sussex Crematorium in Tunbridge Wells, but this year will see Wealden welcome its very own facility. Wealden District Council is currently in the final stages of building the first crematorium in the District which, it says, will cater for the wishes of 1,200 local people each year who choose to be cremated.

The modern, multi-faith facility is located on a 12.7 hectare site, south of Horam (near Heathfield) on the A267. It will include a chapel with seats for 120 mourners, a flower court and a landscaped garden of remembrance. There will be car parking for 160 vehicles and a separate waiting area.

On entering the grounds, a short drive through the landscaped grounds will provide the opportunity for a horse drawn hearse to make the final journey to the chapel if required. The car park is close by and includes ten accessible car parking spaces, as well as ten cycle spaces.

The contemporary single storey chapel is a light, spacious building, which uses stone, glass and water to provide a contemplative setting within the folds of the local landscape. The glass wall on the south side looks out over the reflection pool to the flower court and the garden of remembrance and the glass wall on the north side looks out to an enclosed garden. The acoustic design, electric organ and built-in audio-visual equipment will ensure that a wide range of service requirements can be met.

At the end of the service, mourners will pass though the chapel to the flower court. There they will be able to spend time with family and friends looking at the flowers or walk on to the garden of remembrance – which will offer a suitable place for memorial plaques. Beyond lie the landscaped grounds and grazing pasture. The mourning party will follow a separate, tree-lined path back to the car park.

The new Wealden Crematorium will have the capacity to offer hour-long slots to allow for unrushed services and will be available five days a week from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Its location near the centre of the District will ensure it is no more than a 30 minutes’ drive from local towns, including Crowborough.

A separate antechamber will house a book of remembrance, which can also be accessed online. Both the garden of remembrance and the antechamber will be open at weekends.

If you’d like to find out more, then an Open Day is planned in the spring to give members of the public a chance to look behind the scenes and speak to the staff who work there.

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