It’s evening and early summer (May 2023) and Ruth Sidgwick and Dee Ryding have just finished setting out tea and cake in a room that used to be a bank. It is now painted olive green, full of plants and art, with welcoming navy and gold sofas at one end and a ceiling light known as ‘Heaven’ at the other. Often the light shines down on a coffin, but not today. Today is the first time this space, called the Sanctuary, will be used as a Death Café.

Adjusting the spread of flapjacks, brownies and ginger cake baked by funeral celebrant Ruth, the two women from independent local funeral directors Divine ...


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