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Two decades of care

As Tester & Jones Funeral Services approaches 20 years serving the local community in Crowborough and the surrounding villages the founders, Stephen Tester and Glenys Jones, have so much to be thankful for.

Tester & Jones has been based in the same location on London Road since we were established in 2004 and it’s proved to be the perfect space for us – with our very own mortuary on the premises and a dedicated chapel of rest, as well as welcoming arranging lounges. We have our own car park, and so many of our families have said how much it means to them to park easily right outside the door. This makes it straightforward for anyone with a mobility issue, but it also affords some privacy.

There are many aspects of our business we feel grateful for and these include our continued independence, our membership of the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors – we are a SAIF approved funeral director - our dedicated Bereavement Group, our involvement in the local community, our wonderful team and, of course, the continued support of families in this area.

When we launched, we knew that, by being independent, we would be able to give families the very best care and support, while having the flexibility to offer families the freedom to create a service which truly reflects their loved one. It is extremely important to us that we discuss the choices available to families when arranging their service and we work with them to create a meaningful, personal service. As an example, we offer a wide range of coffins and urns – from traditional to materials including wool and Somerset willow.

Our independence is only strengthened by our membership of SAIF, which truly champions the role of independent funeral directors in communities across the UK. We are grateful for their support, while families are reassured that, in an unregulated sector, we are able to adhere to SAIF’s strict Code of Practice. Our membership also provides us with very clear guidelines that enable us to conduct our business in an ethical and professional manner.

Our Bereavement Group is also another reason to feel proud. It provides support and friendship for our families after the death of their loved one. We organise regular meetings, as well as lunches, days out, theatre trips and holidays away together. Glenys recently received this note from a fairly new member: “For the first time since they died, I felt hope and a feeling of belonging to life again, being among real people all of whom had experienced the trauma of a loved one dying. I felt so welcomed and it was very healing. I now have hope, so a big hug and a big THANK YOU.”

We love being based in Crowborough. Glenys and Stephen both went to school here, so have been part of the local community for many years. The majority of our team also live in the town. We value being involved with local community organisations; Glenys was recently voted onto the board of directors at Crowborough and District Chamber of Commerce, while she and Stephen are both founding and active members of The Rotary Club of Crowborough. We also help and sponsor many of the sports clubs here and support many community and charity events in the town.

Over the years, our team has grown and we are privileged to have attracted such a caring and professional group of people to be part of Tester & Jones. Our staff are trained through the IFD (Independent Funeral Directors’) College. Recently, Sharon has started to conduct funerals, while Kim, Jo and Joanne have supported many families over the years in arranging funerals. We are fortunate to have our own full-time funeral operatives, who have many years’ experience, as well as a dedicated team of bearers.

We are extremely honoured that families in Crowborough and its

surrounding villages have chosen to use our services at the saddest time in their life. As somebody wrote in a card recently: “Thank you so much for your tireless, effortlessly caring, sensitive support and help. It would not have been possible without you. You guided us and liaised with all the necessary people, enabling us to arrange a beautiful and memorable service. Your team on the day were understanding, sensitive, kind and helpful. You have our heartfelt thanks and gratitude.”

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of a funeral, be it a traditional funeral or a more alternative funeral, an unattended funeral or a direct cremation, do not hesitate to talk to one of our experienced members of staff.

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