Cromer Crematorium hailed a “huge asset” at dedication service led by the Bishop of Lynn
- Credit: Ian Burt
A service of dedication led by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev Johnathan Meyrick, marked the official opening of Cromer's £4 million crematorium.
Set overlooking a water garden and woodland, the Holt Road building was completed at the beginning of the year after a long-running planning battle.
The multi-faith chapel building, which has been constructed in the grounds of the town cemetery, has a tribute screen, a traditional organ and a state-of-the-art digital sound system.
Seating 100, it is expected to cater for around four funerals a day, saving north Norfolk mourners a 40-mile round trip to the crematorium at Horsham St Faith.
Extensive grounds feature an 80-space car park, a floral tribute area and bedding plants, trees and hedging, which have been planted to ensure the new building blends into the surrounding countryside.
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More than 50 guests attended the dedication service, which, following a welcome by crematorium manager Sam Dellbridge, included prayers read by Fr Denys Lloyd, from St Joseph's Church, Sheringham, and Rev David Philo, from St Andrew's Methodist Church, Sheringham.
Readings were given by Rev David Head, from the Quintet (Aylsham) Benefice, Rev Ron Skivington of Stalham Baptist Church and Rev Sharon Willimot, who is superintendent for north Norfolk Methodist circuit.
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North Norfolk-based civil celebrant Robin Watson also gave an address, with music provided by organist Matthew Bond and soprano Meg Starling.
Speaking during the service, Cromer deputy mayor David Pritchard said the town now had a crematorium to be proud of.
'It gives bereaved families from Cromer and surrounding towns and parishes a choice,' he added.
Mr Pritchard thanked Westerleigh directors and employees for providing the facility, which, he said, was a 'huge asset'.
Richard Evans, who is managing director of Westerleigh Group, said: 'Most importantly, we have retained the natural setting of the site with the building sympathetically blending in with the surrounding countryside; it is the perfect setting for families to hold the funeral of their choice.'