Members News

Report: Autumn General Meeting 16th November 2017

Posted by on Dec 4th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

President Matthew Barber welcomed almost 90 attendees to the Park Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge and, with other members of the Executive Committee, provided updates on the Association’s recent activities.

Matthew thanked members across the region for the many offers of assistance following the Grenfell tower tragedy, when there had been concerns that the local contract holder might be overwhelmed with the requirements to provide appropriate services and facilities. The strength and value of Association had been very evident. The willingness of so many firms to put the care of the deceased and bereaved before commercial considerations had been a source of great pride.

The Executive had recognised the popularity of the education events offered to members and planned to provide more and more readily accessible opportunities for member firms and their staff. The possibility of regulation of funeral service would place an increasing importance on education and training, so improved access for staff at all levels had been identified as a very desirable benefit to local members. Single topic seminars  and short updates would be offered throughout 2018 in conjunction with District meetings. Education sessions would be subsidised heavily to remove cost barriers. 

Service standards of West London Coroner Service continued to be of concern to local members. The meeting was informed that Senior Coroner Mr Inyama had been suspended since October 2016, but the Acting Senior Coroner Mr Chipperfield now had left to take up an appointment in the north of England. The new acting incumbent was Sarah Ormond-Walshe. LAFD continued to monitor service levels and raise issues on behalf of members.

LAFD had raised concerns about the growth of price comparison websites and the potential for commercial businesses to become the gateholders to funeral services and drive down standards. NAFD were supporting the initiative to establish a service directory website to provide information to the public about the high quality services offered by its members in each area.

Members were updated about recent relevant legislative developments and changes to health and safety guidance.

LAFD had received reports from members that some hospitals now were refusing to provide any information about the presence of implants, fixions etc. It was reported that various schemes had been suggested to assist with identifying potential problems for crematoria, particularly by the British Institute of Embalmers, and a partial solution was demonstrated in the form of a hand held scanner.

NAFD President Alison Crake provided members with highlights of the debate at the recent NAFD national meeting, at which a hot topic had been Funeral Planning and the impact on members of the sales practices of some plan providers.

NAFD continued to lobby for improvements to funeral benefit payments, both in respect of financial sums and a more fair application of eligibility criteria.

The proposed changes in death registration processes, including the introduction of Medical Examiners, continued to be a prime focus for NAFD. Alison reported that the changes now were scheduled for introduction in April 2019.

Alison reminded members of the personnel changes in the enhanced Head Office team.

As Chairman of NAFD’s Board of Education, she was delighted to hear of the continued support for the education of staff by London member firms and praised LAFD on its continuing commitment to the education of those involved in funeral services.

Members were reminded of  the NAFD AGM and Annual Conference, to take place in Durham from 17th to 20th May 2018.

 The meeting included a Presentation of certificates and prizes to students successful at the April examination of the Certificate in Funeral Arranging and Administration. In addition to certificates, the students were the first to receive the new CertFAA lapel badge, which will be sent to all alumni shortly.

President Matthew and Education Committee Chairman Barry Pritchard presented certificates to:

Victoria Kibble (of Lodge Brothers) – who also was awarded The President’s Award, for the highest mark in the examination – Katy Fuentes (MK Ginder & Sons) and Nicola Cocks (PJ King), all of whom attained Passes with Distinction.

Victoria Kibble, President’s Award winner

Passes with Credit were achieved by Rebecca Grey, Debra Jacques and Susan Allen (all CPJ Field & Co), Jo Guthrie and Yvonne Fernandez (Lodge Brothers), Sharon Chapman (PJ King), Christopher Gillard (Dignity) and Susan Parperis (Harold Wood FS).

Samantha Wraight (Haven FS) and Mark Hansford (MK Ginder & Sons) also were present to celebrate their success.

Four students were unable to attend, but congratulations also go to Joanne Lance (PJ King) and Kim Lindsay (DA Lindsay) – both passed with Distinction – and Angela Cook (Lodge Brothers) and Anthony Pearson (Rowland Brothers), who both had attained a Credit grade.

As is traditional, the meeting was followed by a very convivial dinner, for those able to stay.

Academy of Forensic Medical Science DipMoD

Posted by on Dec 4th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

We understand that the Academy of Forensic Medical Science is offering its Diploma in Management of the Dead (DipMoD) course in mid February.

The course might be of interest to members; details are available from the Academy’s website


Southern District meeting 16th October

Posted by on Oct 10th, 2017 in General News, Southern District | 0 comments

The next meeting for members in LAFD’s southern district will be on Monday 16th October 

at The Hallmark Hotel at 680 Purley Way, Croydon CR9 4LT

For details contact:

Ben Walkling, Chairman: phone 07969 217991 email:         
Emily Sharma, Vice-chairman:  email:

Autumn General Meeting 16th November 2017

Posted by on Oct 10th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

The next General Meeting will be held at Park Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge on Thursday 16th November
The meeting will start promptly at 6.30pm (bar open from 5.30pm) and, as is customary, will be followed by dinner.

  • Come along to meet old friends and new
  •  to receive an update on matters of local relevance
  •  and to meet NAFD President Alison Crake and learn about developments and issues at national level

The meeting will include an Education Awards presentation – join the celebrations!

Attendance at the meeting is free, with dinner charged at £60 each for those able to stay after the meeting.
Details and a dinner booking form are available to download here.

The 2018 Ball returns to the Park Lane Ballroom

Posted by on Oct 10th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

By popular request, the 2018 Ball will return to the splendour of the Park Lane Hotel’s newly refurbished Art Deco Ballroom.

In honour of the magnificent surroundings, the Ball will be themed the Great Gatsby Ball, with 1920’s attire an option.

As usual, there will be a delicious four course dinner followed by dancing till late to our favourite band Mixed Feelings.

Details here

Save the date –  24th February 2018.  Note the venue – the Ballroom, Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly.

Ticket orders now being accepted.

Contact us to discuss the sponsorship opportunities available.

Western district meeting 18th October 2017

Posted by on Oct 9th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

To download details click here.              For a reply slip, to order tickets, click here.

Course O is underway!

Posted by on Sep 27th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

September 20th saw the launch of the latest CertFAA course in Central London. 

Fifteen students from 8 firms are pictured (right) at the first seminar

As ever, the students have a variety of experience of funeral service, which will contribute to the learning experience of the group as a whole.

They are working towards the examination on 6th December.



Three courses are planned for 2018

Starting 10th January (to 28th March) Course P will be held in a new venue, accessible to potential students from the north of London, in St Alban’s Hertfordshire.
Course Q will return to Central London on 18th April (exam 11th July)
Course R, later in 2018, will be convenient for candidates from the south.
Visit the Education page of this website for details.

Annual General Meeting 2017

Posted by on Apr 25th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

President James Gallagher recently welcomed members to a well attended 72nd AGM at Park Tower Hotel, at which new Officers and Executive Committee members were installed.

During a very busy meeting, members received reports on a diverse range of  matters of interest, with which their Committee had been occupied in recent months.

Ray Barnes updated the meeting on developments within West London Coroner Service, where new staff and systems were being introduced in an attempt to improve service delivery. LAFD would continue to monitor and raise concerns on behalf of members and the bereaved.

There was an interesting discussion, led by Robert Lodge, about the growth of comparison websites, their impact on funeral services and how LAFD might address members’ concerns.

NAFD President Jeremy Field reported developments in a number of national matters of interest, including continuing calls for enhanced Social Fund payments, proposed changes to death certification, the welcome amendments to DOLS arrangements and the introduction of regulation of funeral services in Scotland.

Adam Ginder and Simon Truelove reminded members of recent changes to Health & Safety guidance and legislative developments of relevance to funeral firms.

Claire Austin reported the success of the recent Ball at London Lancaster Hotel. In response to members’ requests, the event would be returning to the Park Lane Ballroom on 24th February 2018.

The President’s nominated charity for the year was St Claire’s Hospice, to which retiring President James was delighted to present a cheque for £4,000.

Presidential handover

New President Matthew (Lt) with retiring President James

District Chairmen Ray Barnes and Ben Walkling reviewed activities in Western and Southern District Associations respectively, where there had been several interesting guest speakers at recent meetings.

A number of changes to the Association’s Officers and Committee were announced:

Retiring President James presents Honorary membership medals to (Lt to Rt) Grahame Saville, Simon Truelove and Sue Saville

President James presenting Honorary Membership medals to (Lt to Rt) Grahame Saville, Simon Truelove and Sue Saville

James Gallagher presented the chain of office to new President Matthew Barber, who will be ably supported by Vice-President Richard van Nes.

 Graham Saville continues as Treasurer and James Gallagher assumes the office of Immediate Past President.

Steve Thomas (of Haven Funeral Services), Emily Skelton (of Dignity) and Anji Reeves (of Rowland Brothers) were elected to Committee, joining the Officers and six further re-elected members: Claire Austin, Ray Barnes, Adam Ginder, Robert Lodge, Stuart Payne and Simon Truelove.

Long-standing committee members John Lodge, Barry Pritchard, Jeremy Field and Sam Kershaw had stepped down and were thanked warmly for their service to London members; all 4 have served terms as President, amongst a number of other roles, and will be sorely missed.

During the evening three members received Honorary Membership in recognition of their very long service to the Association.

The awards had been a well-kept secret from the three recipients for some months and their surprised delight was very evident.

Barry Pritchard reported the Association’s education activities, including the autumn’s successful Update Seminar and forthcoming International Transportation Seminar. Certificate in Funeral Arranging & Administration courses had proved so popular that the course in September 2016 had been followed with a January cohort and a number of places already had been booked for the next course, in September 2017. Since January, a parallel pilot course had been trialled for Sussex County Association, which was the first course offered to students outside LAFD’s region. Certificates and prizes were presented to successful students from the 2016 Autumn course, Course M:

Emily Forster Sharma is presented with her certificate and the Presidents Award, as the student with the highest mark in the exam.

Emily Forster Sharma is presented with her certificate and the Presidents Award, as the student with the highest mark in the exam.

Pass with Distinction

Emily Forster Sharma of WA Truelove Ltd

Thomas Hoyles of Lodge Brothers

Jacqueline Veasey of Dignity Funerals

Dawn Hazelton of Lodge Brothers

Pass with Credit

Sandra Brown of CPJ Field & Co.

Kim Taylor of T Cribb & Sons

Lucia Browne of WA Truelove Ltd

Perri Loughran of T Cribb & Sons

Loretta Simpson of WA Truelove Ltd

Graham Simpson of Lodge Brothers

Thomas Bishop of Arnolds Funeral Service

Caitlin Maguire receives the Harold Rivett Award, presented to the LAFD area student achieving the highest mark in the national DipFD exam

Caitlin Maguire receives the Harold Rivett Award, presented to the LAFD area student achieving the highest mark in the national DipFD exam


Darren Pollington of Lodge Brothers

David Rogers of Arnolds Funeral Service

Sarah Kempton of T Cribb & Sons

Tracy Cooper of WA Truelove Ltd

Daniel de la Haye of Arnolds Funeral Service

New CertFAA holders with Barry Pritchard, Education Committee Chairman

New CertFAA holders with Barry Pritchard, Education Committee Chairman








Fun for all at the 2017 London Association Banquet and Ball

Posted by on Apr 10th, 2017 in General News | 0 comments

Following the success of last year’s event, the Lancaster London Hotel again hosted the Ball.

The black and white themed décor, highlighted by stunning balloon displays, provided a perfect backdrop for the evening’s celebrations on 4th March.

London President James Gallagher was pleased to welcome guests from kindred associations: SAIF National President Paul Allcock (with wife Alison), BIFD national Chairman Darren Carpenter (with Tracey Hodgson), CFSMA Immediate Past President Darryl Smith (with wife Lesley) and BIE Southern Chairman Janni Plato-Howley.

NAFD President Jeremy Field and his wife Victoria were on “home turf” at the LAFD Ball, Jeremy having served for some years on its Executive Committee.

The guests are pictured with James and Vice-President Matthew Barber and his wife Lucy.

President James Gallagher (2nd right front row) and V-P Matthew Barber (2nd right back row) pictured with the "Chain Gang"

President James Gallagher (2nd right front row) and V-P Matthew Barber (2nd right back row) pictured with the “Chain Gang”

Following a delicious 4 course dinner, the glamourous party-goers joined a lively, and ultimately fairly competitive, auction for a framed drawing of a dancer by artist Darren Baker,
who was on hand to present both the picture and evidence of provenance. Funds raised from the sale benefitted the President’s nominated charity, St Clare’s Hospice.

Artist Darren Baker (right) with delighted purchaser Andrew North

Artist Darren Baker (right) with delighted purchaser Andrew North



LAFD were surprised and thrilled by Mr Baker’s generous donation of the beautiful picture. His work deservedly has attracted much critical acclaim, particularly his portrait of the Queen, unveiled in 2011.


The party continued in the usual lively London manner, as members filled the dance floor when showband “Mixed Feelings” took to the stage.

Toastmaster Neil Hunt ably oversaw proceedings, including a grand raffle draw with an array of superb prizes kindly donated by sponsors.

 (photos by kind permission of Pret-a-portrait).

This year’s event was well supported by the very generous sponsorship of a number of suppliers and local members and we were pleased so many sponsors were able to join us at the party – THANK YOU all for contributing to a great evening.

Next year’s ball is being planned – don’t miss the highlight of 2018’s social calendar, look out for announcements on the website –

International Transportation Seminar 17th May

Posted by on Mar 13th, 2017 in Events & Meetings, General News | 0 comments

The latest opportunity to attend this popular event is scheduled for Wednesday 17th May 2017 at 6.30pm.

Spaces are limited, so book early.

Details here

To book, email

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