Mercia Forest Crematorium Manager Joanne Taylor and Crematorium Assistant Katie Freeman

First chance to see brand-new crematorium in The Midlands

Families in the Midlands will have their first chance to visit a brand-new crematorium when it hosts a community open day ahead of its official first day of business.

Mercia Forest Crematorium, in Broad Lane, Essington, has been built to serve the communities of Walsall, Wolverhampton, Cannock and surrounding areas.

On Saturday 8 July, between 10am and 3pm, people will be able to get their first glimpse of the site and explore its ten acres of beautiful woodland ground as well as its light, airy and welcoming contemporary chapel building.

The open day invitation is also being extended to local Funeral directors, celebrants and other industry professionals.

Mercia Forest Crematorium has been developed by Westerleigh Group, one of the UK’s largest independent owners/operators of crematoria and cemeteries, with 37 other sites across England, Scotland and Wales, all set within beautifully-landscaped gardens of remembrance which provide pleasant, peaceful places for people to visit and reflect.

During the open day there will be tours of the crematorium and its grounds. Visitors will be able to see the cremator too, if desired.

The open day will also give people from the surrounding communities the first chance to meet the Mercia Forest team and learn about the exceptional care and support they will be able to provide, when needed.

The team is led by Joanne Taylor, who is delighted to be the first-ever manager at what is one of the most environmentally-friendly crematoriums in the country.

She has worked in the funeral industry for 12 years in a wide number of roles before joining Westerleigh Group, which she was first introduced to at her father’s funeral.

She said: “From previous losses I’ve had, many companies failed to achieve the perfect goodbye for my loved ones.

“However, Westerleigh managed to allow me my goodbye in a loving way, and they abided by my wishes, so I know, from first-hand experience, about the exceptional care Westerleigh Group provides and I am now proud to support the bereaved myself as part of the group.

“My aim is to make Mercia Forest Crematorium a place where everyone feels welcome, a truly multi-denominational space for the bereaved.

“I believe this crematorium will be a brilliant addition to the surrounding communities, providing much-needed gardens of remembrance and a space for people to reflect and remember their loved ones in a way that is uniquely personal to them.

“I want Mercia Forest Crematorium to be a place of love, and it’s meeting local families I am looking forward to most, starting at our open day on Saturday 8 July.

“We will be able to tell visitors all about the services we provide, whether families want to hold a fully-attended funeral or would prefer a direct, unattended service, we can accommodate their wishes.

“In terms of personalising services, we can offer an almost unlimited choice of music, together with two high-resolution screens which will enable families to customise funerals with slideshows, photographs and appropriate written words.

“We don’t only care about the bereaved; we also care about the climate, which is why we have the latest in advanced filtration and abatement technology, which reduces pollution, as well as a programme of protecting and creating new wildlife habitats, retaining trees and enhancing native planting.

“It’s our aim to have an extremely positive presence within the communities we serve. The whole team here at Mercia Forest Crematorium is looking forward to getting to know our neighbours, starting at our open day on Saturday 8 July.”

Mercia Forest Crematorium will officially open its doors on Monday 10 July. To find out more about it, and all that it offers, visit: