GAZETTE readers have had their say after it was revealed the average funeral cost in Colchester has risen to more than £4,000.

The 2024 Cost of Dying Report found the cost of a basic funeral has risen to £4,141, up from £3,953 the previous year.

This encompasses burial or cremation, funeral director fees, a mid-range coffin, one funeral limousine, and doctor and celebrant fees.

According to those surveyed, this has led to one in five families reporting “notable financial concerns”.

A total of 75 per cent of all respondents stated these costs had impacted their mental health, with 59 per cent saying they had to reduce certain aspects of funerals to manage costs.

Gazette: Site - the Colchester CrematoriumSite - the Colchester Crematorium (Image: Google Maps)

Colchester Gazette readers shared their concerns over the rising costs.

Joanne Marshall said: “I speak from experience as had to arrange one this week, and now they try and upsell jewellery with fingerprints and ashes.

“We even had to pay for a nice box for the ashes. What has happened to this world.”

Kay Brown said: “My dad’s cost that much and that was the cheapest one with no cars.

“Thankfully he didn’t want an all-expensive one nor any cars or flowers. I dread to think how much it would have cost if he did.”

Darran Till added: “A piece of granite with your name on starts at £600 and can escalate to thousands, which is why many have a basic wooden cross.

“My father’s was £7,000 for a cremation funeral and a headstone.”

Denise Culley dubbed the funeral price hike as “disgusting”.

She said: “You should be able to say goodbye and have a burial a lot cheaper than that.”

Meanwhile, Craig Bettinelli suggested the state should pay for funerals.

“We pay enough in over the course of our lives that more than cover those expenses,” he said.

Melanie Hunnaball, director of Hunnaball Family Funeral Group, believes the rises can be negated and there are multiple ways to ease this financial strain of a funeral.

Gazette: Director of Hunnaball Family Funeral Group Melanie HunnaballDirector of Hunnaball Family Funeral Group Melanie Hunnaball (Image: Hunnaball Family Funeral Group)

She said: “Every industry is facing financial pressure to raise prices, but these kinds of reports only serve to worry already bereaved people with broad figures that may not be relevant to certain individuals.

“Our priority is always the emotional support we can provide at a tumultuous time to people when emotions are running high and work to a budget we are given.

“The fact of the matter is that there are more ways to negate rising costs than ever before when it comes to funerals, such as choosing a direct cremation.

“The best option for many people worried about their loved ones in the event of their passing is to put a pre-paid funeral plan in place.

“This allows money to be put aside for your loved ones early on to not only ease the financial concerns, but also the emotional strain of putting your wishes in writing.”