Funeral Directors Category: South West England
Jane Diamond (on right in photo)
Quite possibly, Jane will find the prominence of her name in this review uncomfortable. She has an instinctive preference to be in the background rather than the foreground, seeing her role as supportive and professional rather than centre of attention.
Family Tree Funeral Company was founded in 2005 by James Showers and having worked at larger corporate funeral companies, he was determined to bring a different, person-centred approach to serving the people of Stroud and the surrounding areas.
Jane joined James in 2018 and in June 2023 she purchased the company with her husband Gianluca Corrado. Gianluca oversees the operational side of the business, while right-hand woman Catherine Miller arranges funerals alongside Jane.
Jane shares the passion a lot of us have to normalise the subject of death; she has been running a Death Cafe locally since 2016, has trained in helping people put in place all aspects of end-of-life planning and has also begun her training as an end-of-life doula, a non-medical companion to the dying. She also has a background in psychotherapy and emanates an air of calm, quiet competence.
You can get the essence of Family Tree by looking at the website – it’s a wealth of information, beautifully presented in a way that doesn’t overwhelm. Dip in and out, read the blog posts and browse the information sections. You’ll absorb knowledge and become familiar with the empowering approach that Jane and her team have to their work.
This attention to detail is also evident when you visit the premises in Middle Street. You step into a large attractive space furnished with comfortable seating and lots of plants. To the right is the office area, while curtains at the back of the room screen the area where you can spend time with the person who has died and where they are cared for. Doors lead on from this space to a fridge and storage area. It is all very beautiful, and the air is scented with essential oils. The premises is self-contained, so when people are brought into the care of Family Tree this is where they will be until the day of the funeral.
Works a lot harder than most to ensure you know what your choices are and have the info you need to craft a funeral that reflects your values and represents the life of the person who has died. You can be as involved as you wish, or Jane and the team can do it all for you – whatever’s best for you. Family Tree is dedicated to inspiring families to reclaim their right to say their goodbyes in precisely the way they want.
With Jane and Catherine working with you, you will feel as if you are dealing with friends rather than a representative of a profession. There are no questions that are off limits, nor suggestions that they wouldn’t do their very best to make happen.
Locally, people looking for a progressive or alternative approach have always found their way to Family Tree, but they are equally adept at supporting families who want a completely traditional funeral. They are used to carrying out funerals in churches and the local crematoria and can be as formal as you want, or as dressed down – it’s entirely up to you.
- The phone is always answered by Jane or Catherine and you’ll deal with them throughout. There’s no out-sourcing to call centres or to staff to take calls late at night.
- Home visits or come and meet them at their lovely premises on Middle Street.
- Works with home funeralists “as a matter of everyday service”.
- Same-sex person to prepare and dress the body if you wish, and of course you can come and help if you want to be involved.
- Embalming is seldom needed. It will be offered only if really necessary.
- Family involvement is encouraged. If you have sufficient people to carry the coffin for the funeral then great; not only will that make it far more personal, but it will save you paying for pall bearers.
- Their usual vehicle is a dark blue Mercedes E-class estate, modified at the back to take a coffin, but if you want a hearse then they will hire one.
- Great website, with prices listed for their various services.
- You may find parking on Middle Street itself, Otherwise, use the pay and display car park on Parliament Street. Walk down the steps at the Nelson Street exit and turn left, then go left at the Golden Fleece and Family Tree is right there on Middle Street.
Exactly the right people, and a rare find, for anyone wanting a highly personal funeral. Great value for the service you receive. Jane and Catherine are some of the most humane people you will ever meet, and highly capable. We like them very much indeed.
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.