Funeral Directors Category: London
Michael Wort and Gary Morriss are the two funeral directors here, supported by Sue who holds the fort when they are out of the branch. Both Michael and Gary hold the Diploma in Funeral Directing and the licence to practice issued by the British Institute of Funeral Directors, (Selsdon & District are the only undertakers in the area to hold the licence). Both men have decades in the funeral business, Gary is a third-generation funeral director who has been working in funerals for over 40 years, while Michael has been in the funeral profession for more than 20 years. They are both well known locally and devoted to serving the community in which they live and work.
Established in 2001, Selsdon and District is a fairly recent addition to the Rowland Brothers Group and very much operates as a stand-alone business. The premises in Addington Road retain the original décor, with a light filled reception area and an arranging room laid out like a sitting room with comfortable sofas. Paperwork is done in the office, ensuring that the staff can give full attention to discussing funeral arrangements without being distracted by phone calls or e-mails.
Further back there is a chapel of rest, and behind the scenes there is the mortuary area, with parking at the rear if need be. (When funerals take place, the coffin is placed on the hearse at the back of the building rather than in full view of passers-by unlike other companies nearby).
Selsdon & District has for years provided a personal, quality funeral service for the people of the local area, and they are sensitive to the needs of families of limited means – they never compromise, despite their very reasonable charges, the service that you receive will be the absolute best, with the same level of personal service from Gary, Michael and Sue no matter what your circumstances.
Being part of the community and providing a dedicated personal service is what underpins both Gary and Michael’s approach to their work. They support local charities and community organisations, and do their best to source all services and products locally. “We choose to do business with people we trust,” they say. This close local connection enables them to build strong, personal relationships that in turn lead to them being able to provide individual, sensitive service when it is needed.
Words often used to describe Selsdon and District’s service tell you just how they are perceived by the families they’ve helped; ‘kindness’, ‘care’, ‘safe and supported’, ‘patience’, ‘sensitivity’ – all the qualities that the very best funeral directors need to have to be able to serve families well.
They are fiercely proud of their independent status – this from their website: “All our attention is concentrated on satisfying the needs of our clients. We are not distracted or bound by corporate rules; we are flexible and responsive to your needs. This is our business. Our neighbourhood is your neighbourhood, this is where we live and work. When you need us we’ll be here. Large concerns answer to shareholders, we answer to you.”
- Your first call will be answered by Gary, Michael or Sue. After hours it will be David Collins you speak to.
- Home visits – yes, just ask.
- Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, again, just ask. People brought into Selsdon & District’s care are routinely bathed and have their hair washed before they are placed into their coffins. If you want to be involved or to do this yourself, let your funeral arranger know.
- Embalming? Not conducted as a matter of course, but recommended if you want to spend time with the person who has died in the Chapel of Rest or at home. The procedure will be explained to you and you will be asked to sign a document giving permission to carry out this invasive procedure.
- Ethnic specialism? Gary and Michael are experienced in all kinds of funeral and serve all denominations and non-religious families with the same care and support.
- Home arranged funerals – absolutely, they are happy to support families who want to care for their dead relative at home, and to provide as much or as little advice and assistance as is needed.
- Local celebrants – Gary, Michael and Sue know their local celebrants well, and will suggest the person they feel most suitable to help you. They have a list of all local celebrants, but have some favourites who they can recommend with certainty that you will receive an excellent service.
- Vehicles – Selsdon & District use the Rowland Brothers fleet of two hearses and three limousines. These are currently Fords, but these are likely to be changed to different models soon.
- Website – Comprehensive information on the website.
- Client support – Superb and ongoing as long as you need it through the Rowland Brothers Bereavement Aftercare.
- Money matters – Exceptionally good value for money, a high-class service for several thousand pounds less than nearby corporate funeral directors. Prices are currently not displayed online but will be shortly – a recent price reduction delayed the introduction of online pricing.
- Parking – There is space at the rear of the premises if you can’t find a parking space nearby.
Selsdon & District has the gravitas of a long-established business that knows exactly how to serve families in the best way, but the forward-looking flexibility of a small family run undertaking. Gary and Michael are clearly dedicated to serving the people of Selsdon and the surrounding areas to the very best of their ability, at reasonable and fair prices.