A family run funeral directors has opened a second office in Shoreham, complete with a ‘unique’ chapel from which it can offer funerals with a ‘personal’ touch.
H.D.Tribe’s new branch in Eastern Avenue is housed in the former building of Northbourne Medical Centre, which moved to Upper Shoreham Road three years ago.
Director William Warren praised the architect, Peter Finch of Rathbone Miller in Steyning, for transforming the space.
“When you saw that derelict building and you see what he has created, it’s unbelievable,” he said.
“It’s twice as good as I imagined.”
The building is centred around a modern looking chapel with capacity for 80 people and a ‘completely neutral’ feel, which makes it appropriate for both religious and secular services, said director Max Webber.
The directors had noticed services at their Broadwater chapel becoming increasingly preferred to those at the crematorium – which can be ‘pretty soulless places’, Mr Webber said.
“Here, we can make it a truly personal experience,” he said. And with a reception room right next door, he added: “It makes things a lot simpler for families.”
The chapel also features state-of-the-art technological equipment, which can even live stream the funeral to relatives who cannot attend.
“It’s such a wonderful tool to have,” Mr Webber said.
Since opening on Thursday, the response from neighbours had been ‘very complimentary’.
Mr Warren said: “They really like the fact it’s something for the community and something that is going to service everyone. It’s a fact of life, death.”
Since the company started in Broadwater in 1929, it has grown to eight branches in the area which are still run by the same three families – a factor which makes their service particularly special, Mr Warren believes.
“We are directly involved, we deal with families on a personal basis,” he said.
“We give reassurance that we will look after people’s loved ones as well as we look after our own.”