Compassionate Funerals

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Funeral Directors Category: London

  • Allistair Anderson.

    Allistair left his position at City of London Cemetery and Crematorium in February 2016 to create a new kind of funeral business. With 20 years experience working in a wide variety of roles with some of the best local undertakers, cemeteries and crematoria in London, Allistair has the calm confidence of a man who knows his stuff, and more importantly, knows what he wants to do differently from the status quo.

    Allistair worked from home for the first few years with his former partner, with the kitchen table serving as an office base. In October 2015 the company opened their first funeral home just a few hundred yards from City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, then in 2023, the two went their separate ways, and Allistair moved into new premises in Hermon Hill, as the sole owner of Compassionate Funerals. It is a stunningly beautiful space, quite the most unfunereal of funeral homes. Allistair is now supported by his sister, Felicity, who takes care of many of the background processes and procedures, freeing Allistair to do what he does best, looking after families.

    Huge windows all the way around the corner position of the premises allow passers by to see in, (there are large blinds that can be lowered for privacy when families are with Allistair) and the attractive furnishings are inviting and reassuring. There’s nothing remotely death related, the sofas and chairs and low coffee table are complemented by beautiful light fittings, which are so pretty that if it weren’t for environmental reasons we would love them to be lit day and night.

    When you step in through the door, you’re in a large open space with wooden flooring, lovely rugs, plants and contemporary furnishing, including Allistair’s pride and joy, a stunning Art Deco style desk. To your right, the arranging area space is large enough to be used for all kinds of other events as well as discussing funeral arrangements. “We want this to be a space where families would feel at ease and be comfortable when they are at the most delicate and vulnerable,” says Allistair. “And we also want to use it for awareness raising events in our community”.

    Through a wooden door from the reception space is the room used for families to spend time with the person who died, whether washing and dressing them with help from Hasina and Allistair if needed, or just sitting alongside the coffin and being in their presence. Simply furnished, with a wooden dresser containing the rose essential oil used to anoint every body in their care, and with bamboo trestles and a stretcher covered with beautiful material, the room is quiet and peaceful without being somber or dreary. It’s naturally lit from a large window which is screened by a bespoke cream coloured blind, allowing light in but giving a feeling of peace and privacy.

    Great death care is at the heart of the way Allistair works – he is gentle in the handling of each person and he actively cultivate mindful presence of the person whose body is being caring for, whether the family are present or not. This awareness of the person whose body is being cared for is second nature to Allistair, and he trains anyone assisting him in the same reverent approach to the body. Even the embalmer (who is occasionally called in to carry out embalming where a funeral is taking place several weeks after death and an open coffin is required by the spiritual practice of the family) has learned that when he is working for Compassionate Funerals, he needs to honour their ways of handling the dead.

    When someone dies, they will be brought to Compassionate Funerals a few days before the funeral to be washed, dressed and placed in their coffin. They will remain in the on-site mortuary until the day of the funeral.

    Additional services and staff are hired in as needed, keeping the costs lean and non-exploitative. Allistair prefers to use local businesses where possible, to support the local economy. The company has just two vehicles, a people carrier used to collect people who have died and an eco car for work use. Allistair is keen to explore hiring an eco-hearse for families who have strong environmental ethics, and is also interested in the idea of a bicycle hearse or a hand bier to enable families to take their dead to their final resting place in a completely green eco-friendly way.

    Each funeral is bespoke and arranged to fit the budget of the individual family involved, with the focus always being on empowering bereaved people to have the perfect send off for their loved one. Allistair also offers repatriation services, to better serve the diverse communities of London.

    Whether it is Allistair or Felicity, whoever you meet when you first make contact with Compassionate Funerals will be with you from that day onwards, until the funeral and beyond. They offer to visit clients at home the same day a call is received, or arrangements can be made at a time to suit the family, either at home or at Compassionate Funerals premises. From that point onward, you have a person who will walk alongside you through the days leading up to the funeral, being with you when the celebrant or faith leader meets the family to ensure seamless continuity. On the day, he or she will co-ordinate the funeral exactly as you have created it, offering as much or as little support as you need.

    After the ceremony, they will always accept an invitation to join the reception if it is offered, believing that for many families this is an important thing as they have been so involved with planning the funeral from the onset. “I have never forgotten what happened once when I was driving a limousine for a national company years ago,” said Allistair, “The funeral conductor was invited by a family to come in for a drink after the funeral. He declined, saying he had to get away. Then the gentleman held out his hand to shake hands and passed him a gratuity, which was gratefully accepted. The man was seriously unimpressed. ‘So you’ll take my money but you won’t take the time to have a drink with me’ he said. I have always remembered that. If a family asks us to be there after the ceremony, we are honoured and will always accept.”

    After the funeral, each family is offered an After Care Contact, where they can talk about whatever they want – it’s an opportunity for Compassionate Funerals to signpost individuals to bereavement support if they think there might be a need for it.

    Compassionate Funerals also have strong links with many diverse groups in the locality, and have an extensive community engagement programme, running Death Cafes, Advance Planning, Difficult Conversations, Fun Days, Jumble Trail – and they have a mobile ‘Before I Die’ wall that they use as a conversation starter at events locally.

    They partner with Redbridge Libraries in a funded project called ‘The Final Party’ which aims to remove fears and barriers around the subject of death through various interactive events. They fund raise for both local hospices, and are a Drop Spot for recycled goods for one of them. They are also often asked to speak publicly with various professions: GPs, nurses, hospitals, universities and adult social services, and do radio, TV and print interviews whenever they can.

    Specific Gravity

    A holistic, bespoke funeral service that puts the family at the heart of each funeral.

    Allistair wanted a fresh approach to funerals, and to support each family in leading the funeral, and he has created an undertaking service that does exactly this. Intelligent, sensitive and creative, Allistair and Felicity listen intently to what is said and, where appropriate, make suggestions based on the inspiration and information each family provides. Compassionate Funerals is a business that is meeting the needs of the community it belongs to, providing gentle, deeply personal support for those who are bereaved no matter what their background or circumstances.

    What’s Important?

    What each family wants. And personal, compassionate care, both for the bereaved and for the person whose body they are caring for – they treat every person with the utmost respect for their dignity and modesty, even though they are no longer alive.

    What’s Different?

    Every funeral. As every family is different, so is every funeral carried out by Compassionate Funerals. Allistair and Felicity are there to guide and support, but the funerals they carry out are created by the families who engage them. Every funeral is tailor made according to the needs of the clients and their faith and culture, and each funeral acknowledges the character and the service and contribution made by the person who has died.


    • Prices here. The CMA standardised price list can be found here.
    • Your first call will be answered by Allistair or Felicity.
    • Home visits – Yes. They will offer to visit the same day.
    • Family participation – Absolutely yes – this is positively encouraged. As much participation as you want.
    • Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, no problem, just ask.
    • Embalming – Not routinely carried out unless there is a repatriation or the funeral is being held some weeks after death and the family wants an open coffin as part of their spiritual and faith practice.
    • Ethnic specialism – Compassionate Funerals have served many diverse communities in the area ; Turkish, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Gambian, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Polish, Romanian, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, Georgian, Greek, Italian, Congolese, Nigerian, Iranian, Iraqi, Spanish, Hungarian, French, German, American, Canadian, Kenyan and Sierra Leone are some of the ethnic groups they have worked with.
    • Home arranged funerals – Yes, they actively promote the choice and support to die at home and are happy to help families doing most of the funeral work themselves.
    • Local celebrants – They have a number of great officiants and celebrants that they work with and match them according to the client’s needs and requests. They are in close contact with them throughout the whole process, to ensure everyone is completely up to speed with the arrangements.
    • Website – Informative and attractive website. Good on social media and a video series answering questions clients might have. An itemised price list is shown on their website to give an overview of what kinds of costs to expect, although every funeral is costed individually.
    • Client support – Complete support throughout the whole funeral journey
    • Money matters – Extremely good value for a bespoke service. The aim is to meet clients’ budgets and help create their service within that. They also work closely with the charity Down To Earth to help families with financial difficulties.
    • Parking – Dedicated parking spaces outside the premises, on street parking available in the residential streets adjacent.


    We have known and admired Allistair for a number of years. His quiet dedication and passion is rooted in a clear-eyed understanding of the importance of his role, within the wider sense of doing death properly. Allistair’s approach to his work is encapsulated in this quote:

    ‘We are fortunate in that we always put the family and the person who has died at the centre of the funeral. This has given us the edge to ride the wave of change that is happening throughout the UK. We feel that great consideration must be given to the state and care of bereavement, otherwise as funeral directors, we are allowing families to live with deep effects of loss, which settles into our cells and then get carried on out into our future. We feel that there is lots of healing work that is required by our profession.

    The funeral industry requires upgrading and this is an exciting time that we are in. We feel privileged to be in the position of this transformational conscious change.’


    Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.

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    Reviews from the old GFG site
    6 years ago


    In reply to .
    Dear Susi,

    We’re grateful that we’re able to serve from the funeral to overseeing the headstone work.

    Thank you for a great review.

    Stay super blessed, love Hasina.

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    In reply to .
    Dear Marcella,

    Thank you for your amazing and extensive review. It was a privilege and honour to serve you, your family and your mum.

    Sending you all abundant love, joy and happiness, Hasina.

    | | | | |

    In reply to .
    Dear Anne,

    Thank you for your lovely and extensive review.
    Stay well and sending you lots of love and peace.


    | | | | |

    In reply to .
    Dear Sasha,

    Thanks for choosing us and allowing us to look after your friend.

    All the best,

    Peace and blessing, Hasina

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    In reply to .
    Dear Denise,

    Thank you, may you and your family stay well.

    Sending you all lots of peace and love.

    LovingKindness Hasina

    | | | | |

    In reply to .
    Dear Dave

    Thank you for your kind words and experience.

    Stay well, Hasina.

    | | | | |

    In reply to .
    Dear Paul,

    Thank you for allowing us to support you with your Late Uncle’s funeral. We are grateful that we were able to support you from here in London.

    All the best, Hasina.

    | | | | |

    In reply to .
    Dear Olu,

    Thank you for your wonderful feedback.
    Stay blessed and take great care, Hasina.

    | | | | |

    What a great service. I will recommend Compassionate funeral again and again.
    From the first day I called, till the end of the funeral, the service has been fantastic. Thank you Allistair for your professional advice and been compassionate indeed. Keep it up.

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    Paul Chapman

    I found Allister and the team at Compassionate Funerals to be very helpful, professional and experienced in dealing with the arrangements for my late uncle. They were able to provide a quick and well organised funeral service which was exactly what we needed as our family live overseas. They saved me a lot of traveling back and forward with the efficient service they gave at a very difficult time for my family.

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    Allistair and the rest of Compassionate Funerals were excellent. They were always responsive, kind and gentle, providing just the right amount of help that we needed to guide us through the process. Extremely professional and high quality.

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    Jon Underwood

    I found Compassionate Funerals to be very helpful, reliable and economical. I have recommended them since and would do so again.

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    When you lose a loved one the last thing you should worry about is how to prepare for the funeral! Sadly it has to be done so you want it done with ease! This was my second time using compassionate funerals and they really did take the load off with ideas and suggestions! From price planning to finding a music piece to be played, they were really helpful! Everything was organised quickly, which made the day perfect! I kept thinking I had forgotten to do something (which I hadn’t) but an email or phone call always reassured me! They respond promptly and always offer a friendly ear! I had time to grieve the passing of my sister without worrying how to make her day perfect!

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    Compassionate funerals were a great support to us at a very difficult time. They accommodated our bespoke needs, making suitable suggestions that did not require purchases but enhanced the care and personal touch that we were able to give our loved one for the last time. They didn’t try to ‘sell’ us anything that we hadn’t asked for. Allistair was a helpful grounded soul through the lead up to the funeral, visiting us at home more than once and offering to attend Jacks resting place with us while we chose his plot.

    Despite Allistair having input when needed on the lead up to the day he managed to become invisible while still being present on the day, patiently allowing the mourners to feel it was an intimate event despite the presence of a stranger.

    Thank you compassionate funerals, we are so glad that we chose you.

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    Nothing is too much trouble for Compassionate Funerals. We arrived on their doorstep without warning, distressed, bewildered and confused. The team made us welcome and, in a very friendly way, guided us patiently through the complicated process of planning a funeral. After the initial meeting, Allistair was always on the end of a phone, or, if he was busy, he rang back within an hour. No detail was too small for his consideration, and he always gave us his full attention, even though he must have been busy. He appointed Rachel Bass as our celebrant, and she was both conscientious and caring, taking a lot of time to find out about the person whose life she was helping us to celebrate, organising the music and leading the service calmly and sensitively. Allistair thought of everything, so the service ran very smoothly, and he even came with us to the wake to pay his respects. The result was a sad day, but one to add to the happy memories of our loved one.

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    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for the guidance and support you gave me, at what was a very challenging time in my life to arrange the funeral of my dear mother.

    This was one of those occasions that you are never truly prepared for even though you know it will happen one day.

    I am a very hands on type of person and wanted to be very much involved in ensuring my Mother’s farewell was the best it could be. Hasina and her team embraced my involvement and guide my Niece and I through the process. I was pleasantly surprised how easy everything was. This was primarily due to the experience and professionalism of Hasina and her team.

    On the day of the funeral, everything that had been agreed was delivered. The attention to detail and the empathetic way in which the team at Compassionate Funerals worked with my family and I made my Mother’s funeral although very sad, it was a joyous occasion, a celebration of her wonderful life.

    As and when you find yourself in my situation having to deal with the passing of a loved one I would not hesitate to recommend Hasina and her team to work with you to fulfill their wishes.


    Yours most gratefully

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    Susi Sappa

    Thoroughly impressed by the tailored service provided by Compassionate Funerals after my father’s passing. From the funeral to the headstone, Compassionate Funerals made sure my family could take the time to grieve. Top quality people with a very high standard of professionalism – thank you.

    Reviews from the old GFG site
    6 years ago

    The team at Compassionate Funerals were exceptional
    Sonia Blackwood reviewed 4 months ago
    The team at Compassionate Funerals were exceptional. Allistair was very accommodating and came to the family house to meet all the family to get a sense of our mother who passed away. They made us feel like we were celebrating the life of our lived one rather than grieving a loss.
    I would highly recommend them.

    a pleasure to deal with
    Martyn Hawkes reviewed 4 months ago
    i have worked as a minister with Hasina and Allistair on a number of funerals and have always found them a pleasure to deal with, quick to respond to questions and keen to support in any way.

    Manwai Lam reviewed 4 months ago
    The funeral service for my late father was well organised with compassionate and care from Allistair. This had helped to ease off some our pain during what was a very difficult time for the bereaved family. Allistair was attentive to the needs of the family and my father had a very dignified funeral. I would highly recommend the service of compassionate funerals to anyone.

    highly recommended
    Sonia Blackwood reviewed 4 months ago
    The team at Compassionate Funerals were exceptional. Allistair was very accommodating and came to the family house to meet all the family to get a sense of our mother who passed away. They made us feel like we were celebrating the life of our loved one rather than grieving a loss.
    I would highly recommend them.

    Highly recommend this lovely company
    Syra reviewed 4 months ago
    I was clueless about what to do when it became clear to me my mother was in her last few hours with us. I quickly had a Google and came across Allistair and Hassina’s company, and I was immediately struck by the simplicity and care that seemed to be available through an independent and open funeral directors. A quick call and Allistair immediately could tell me exactly what my mother, a religious individual, would need and it was spot on with how I remember other family funerals.

    It was a weight off my mind that Allistair was there at this difficult time to handle all the arrangements in such a professional and approachable way. I highly recommend this lovely company.

    Reviews from the old GFG site
    6 years ago

    Quynh Hua

    Couldn’t have asked for more. Allistair and his staff helped my family through one of our toughest times. The kindness, warmth and patience shown to us was more then we could ever have expected. As a family we would like to sincerely thank you for your support.

    Anne lydiat

    I cannot recommend Compassionate Funerals high enough. They were extremely sensitive and caring throughout this difficult time both to myself and my family. I totally entrusted the care of my husband with them and they helped and supported me in realising a somewhat unconventional but totally fitting farewell to him.

    Michael Josiah

    Allistair and Hasina provided an incredibly warm, sensitive and professional service. The whole family thanks them and would recommend them wholeheartedly.

    Keith Robins

    Allistair and Andrea are both very supportive and helpful. They were both very generous with their time and guided me through the whole funeral process in a very human and caring way. They were very willing to tailor things to suit me and my particular needs. If you want to deal with people rather than a slick business then Compassionate Funerals is very highly recommended.

    Michele Hatwell

    Allistair was very u understanding and couldn’t have been more accommodating.

    Claire Surridge

    From start to finish Allistair (& his team) have been amazing. We couldn’t of done it without his help. His calmness, friendly manner and the ability to get in touch with him at any time made the whole process so much easier. Without a doubt we recommend Compassionate Funerals.

    Alima Began

    Outstanding service, they treat you like family and listen to all your needs. Words cannot do justice to the service they delivered for my Auntie. Multicultural, multifaith team thats what makes them the best funeral directors in the UK. Thanks again guys!

    Jane Wallbank

    Compassionate Funerals have been fantastic. They helped us enormously with the service and were mindful of everything we wanted for our father. From beginning to end they were efficient, diligent and most of all kind. I would highly recommend them.

    Sylvia Warren

    Compassionate Funerals were first class and ensured the day went without a hitch. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

    Tony Winyard

    Hasina and Alistair at Compassionate Funerals are extremely understanding and offer much more flexibility than is the norm in this industry. They go out of their way to ensure this difficult time is made as smooth as possible.

    Ijeoma Lawson

    Allistair and his team have done an amazing job in very little time. We had a week from contacting Compassionate Funerals for the first time to the day of the funeral, their professional and indeed compassionate attitude, has made the whole process very stress free – we could not have wished for more. The proximity from their office to the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is ideal as they are in the same road, which meant that we were able to have a walking procession making the day that bit more special. From the whole family we would like to thank you for giving our beloved sister the send-off she deserved.