Funeral Directors Category: South East England
Jason Brown – the man himself. This is Jason’s business, created in 2017, some 25 years after he first began work for his former father-in-law in his family funeral directing business in Middlesex.
Step in through the door of the small, smart premises in Woodside Road, and it will be Jason who greets you; call in the middle of the night if someone dies and needs to be taken into the care of a funeral director, and it will be Jason who arrives shortly afterwards.
He’s the one who will care for the person who died until the funeral date, and, on the day of the funeral, it’s Jason who will double check every detail, lift the coffin into the hearse and be there for you throughout the funeral until the ceremony is completed.
This absolute personal involvement with each family and funeral is what makes this company special. Unlike the other funeral businesses in the town, J Brown Funeral Services is staffed by the person who owns it and whose name is above the door, the person whose reputation is on the line every time he undertakes the task of helping a family organise a funeral for someone.
And the need to have this personal involvement is what motivated Jason to start his own business. When he had started working as a driver-bearer in the family firm as a young man, he had the good luck to be working for someone who ran his business in the old-fashioned way of everyone involved being able to do everything. Jason progressed from driving and polishing the cars to meeting families, making funeral arrangements and conducting funerals, and gathered experience in every aspect of the work. You could say he learned his craft in a way that no training course could ever provide, learning from old hands who had been working in funerals for years.
This doesn’t mean Jason is stuck in the past, not at all – he’s a progressive, thoughtful and creative funeral director, but one with the grounding of learning his trade through years of experience, and through watching and learning from the many other funeral directors he’s encountered over time.
In 2003, Jason became a partner in the company he worked for, and took over conducting all the funerals that were carried out, as well as the day to day running of the business. The company was sold in 2015, and Jason stayed on as an employee of the new owners; a much larger affair with very different practices and standards than those he had been used to.
His new role still covered the areas he used to work in, but he was based in the head office, and no longer had any dealings with funeral arrangements, and didn’t meet families until the day of the funeral. This was completely alien to Jason, and it wasn’t long before he decided to leave and look for somewhere to start again, somewhere where ‘I could do things the way I wanted, and provide the service bereaved families deserve.’
It took quite a while to find premises that Jason felt would be right, but the property in Amersham caught his eye and he made the decision to invest in his own funeral company in the town.
After a fair amount of hard work putting up walls and decorating and getting things the way he wanted them to be, the new, independent family funeral directors serving the people of Amersham and the surrounding areas opened for business in August 2017. Jason had modest hopes for the first year of trading, but his expectations have been exceeded, proving his instincts to have been right.
Maybe it’s the fact the company is independently owned that draws people to contact J Brown Funeral Services when they need a funeral director – or maybe it’s Jason himself whose open, friendly and quiet manner is instantly reassuring, and whose meticulous attention to detail means that every funeral he looks after is carried out as well as it could possibly be. It might be the years of experience he has had that instils confidence instantly. Or it might be his strong commitment to supporting local small traders, his ethos and way of being that is getting him known and recognised
Either way, Jason’s reputation is growing rapidly as a quality funeral director who offers completely personal service, and who can tailor that service to suit whatever you want or need. The flexibility of a funeral director who owns and runs his or her own business is one of the things that the large chains and corporately run companies just cannot compete with, and it is this flexibility and willingness to adapt to each family’s preferences that makes this small, independent funeral directors company stand out.
The premises, although small, are perfectly adequate, with the main door opening into a pleasant reception area. Beyond the rear wall, a small room where you can spend time with the person who has died is to the right, leading on to a larger area with a second desk to one side. The kitchen is at the rear on the right, while to the left secure doors lead to the newly created mortuary area with refrigeration and facilities for washing and dressing people, and there is private rear access. Everywhere is spotlessly clean and tidy.
Jason’s style is traditional, he wears a back suit in the office and a tail coat or frock coat when conducting funerals.
Personal attention. It might sound like a cliché, but this is exactly what you receive from Jason. From start to finish, you can be confident that Jason will be involved with every aspect of a funeral. When he’s out on a funeral or visiting a family, it will only be a trusted member of his family who stands in for him – either his soon-to-be wife, Ana or his father might be found in Jason’s place, but you can be sure that they have the same commitment to serving families as Jason does, and every detail shared with them will be passed on to Jason directly he is free.
Finding suitable venues for families to hold funeral ceremonies is something that Jason finds really rewarding, and the walls behind his desk show photos of some of the unusual funerals he has been involved with, including one of an escort of Star Wars Stormtroopers accompanying a gentleman’s final journey, and another with a beribboned VW camper van as a hearse.
Listening to you and understanding what you want him to help you achieve. Jason doesn’t bring any assumptions, what he does is work out how you can get what you need, make suggestions if he thinks there’s something that might work for you, and then make whatever you decide on happen.
Being part of the local community and actively involved in what’s going on in Amersham is also important to Jason, whether it’s joining in the litter picking or local community tree planting, raising money for Scannappeal, the local charity that fundraises for medical equipment for the hospitals in the area by taking part in sponsored runs, or just shopping locally and promoting local traders, it’s clear Jason is committed to the community that his business serves.
The very gorgeous little 1962 Ford Anglia van that sits on the forecourt outside Jason’s premises is one thing that stands out! Jason loves classic cars, and, in his words has “spent far too much money on the Anglias, Escorts and Cortinas I’ve had in the past!”
Classic car aside, what stands out about J Brown Funeral Services is the genuine niceness of the owner. Jason is a lovely, unassuming man who is impeccably smart, incredibly thoughtful and really, really nice.
- Your first call will be answered by Jason. Possibly Ana if Jason is unavailable, but it will be Jason who calls you back as soon as he is free.
- Home visits – yes, or workplace visits if preferred – whatever is more convenient for you.
- Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, Jason has a lady who can do this if you want.
- Embalming? Jason can organise this if he feels it is recommended and if you agree to it. Embalming would be carried out by the same lady who carries out the less intrusive routine care of the people Jason is looking after.
- Ethnic specialism?
- Home arranged funerals? Jason will help in any way he can.
- Local celebrants There are a few trusted celebrants that Jason works closely with. He believes celebrants need to show the same level of care and compassion as a funeral director.
- Vehicles: Jaguar funeral vehicles and a VW Transporter ambulance. The little Ford Anglia van is a familiar sight at local classic car gatherings.
- Website: Nice website, straightforward basic information.
- Client support: Throughout your contact with J Brown Funeral Services Jason will be your contact and support.
- Money matters: Fair prices for a bespoke service. Currently Jason doesn’t have prices online but we’ve encourage him to think about doing so.
- Parking: Three parking spaces on the forecourt outside. Ample parking nearby.
We were delighted to be invited to visit Jason at his new premises and to have a chance to talk about his journey so far. The people of Amersham and the surrounding areas deserve to have an alternative to the funeral companies owned by large chains (which were the only previous option), and Jason with his experienced background and forward looking attitude is just the right person to offer this. We wish him all the best in his new business and look forward to watching his progress.