No funeral services at Le Foulon chapel for 18 months
THE chapel at Le Foulon is set to close for 18 months from 1 August.
Cremation equipment there is nearly 20 years old and has reached the end of its useful life.
‘As the only option for funeral cremation available in Guernsey, it is a critically important facility, so maintaining availability while we replace this equipment is a priority,’ Mark Ogier, head of estates strategy at Property Services, said.
‘We are doing all we can to limit disruption during the project, however, the closure of the chapel is required to enable the current equipment to remain in operation while the building is extended and new cremators are installed.’
Upgrade work will also be undertaken to the chapel and wider grounds as part of the project.
‘There are other options available for funeral services, including numerous churches and many community facilities which are available for non-denominational services,’ Mr Ogier said.
John Foster, managing director of Martels Funeral Services, wrote to the Guernsey Press concerned that funeral directors would bear the brunt of complaints from bereaved families.
‘We feel the public should know that Le Foulon Chapel will be out of bounds to the families for 18 months, the services are to take place elsewhere and only the funeral directors and staff will be accompanying the deceased to Le Foulon.’
Mr Foster said he was shocked to find that States Property Services would not be providing an alternative venue for services while Le Foulon Chapel is out of action.
‘The decision not to provide an alternate venue will add extra cost to the families as we will have to try and find a venue suitable to hold the service, incurring costs for hire of the premises, the use of hearse and bearers, then transferring at our premises to a vehicle to take the deceased to the crematorium.
‘The States made the wrong decision to continue with Le Foulon, at a cost not far short of building a new chapel and crematorium, and to not build a new people-friendly crematorium at a site suitable for the 21st century.’
The decision not to provide an alternative venue while the work is done was described by Mr Foster as ‘unbelievable’.
Mr Ogier said Property Services had been liaising with funeral directors throughout the planning stage and is working to keep them fully informed.
‘Funeral directors are obviously aware of other options as they deal with them on a regular basis and will be able to advise their clients accordingly, as no doubt they do now,’ he said.
The chapel is expected to be available around the middle of next year.