London: The UK government has unveiled plans for a series of measures to expand provisions around crematoria to meet long-standing demands of Britain’s Hindu and other communities who believe in cremating their dead as per religious rites. In response to a consultation conducted back in 2016, the UK’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) revealed Monday that the majority of respondents (28.1 per cent) were from Britain’s Hindu communities, particularly in north and west London as well as the city of Leicester, who had highlighted specific faith requirements during cremations.
“Most respondents highlighted that crematoria struggle to accommodate the large numbers of mourners present at Hindu, Sikh and Jain funerals,” the MHCLG review noted. “Other respondents said that there is insufficient time allowed for the service or to administer the last rites, prayers or other rituals such as hand-washing after the cremation. To allow for longer funeral services, respondents from the Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths reported that they often book two service slots but that this increased the costs,” it added. As part of a package of new measures, UK Faith Minister Lord Nick Bourne said that such concerns would be addressed as cremations become more common in Britain.
“This package of measures will make sure that local authorities and providers offer the appropriate facilities that reflect the communities they serve,” Bourne said, adding that he has written to local authorities to encourage appropriate staff training to understand different faith requirements.