Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Central London Golf Centre Funeral Service Venue

Posted in Central London Golf Centre allows funerals, Search for non-religious funeral venues by sheelanagigcomedienne on June 9, 2014

I have written to Rosie at the Natural Death Centre The Natural Death Centre  asking if they would introduce a section on venues that would allow funeral services to be conducted on their premises.

Natural death centre



 Dear Rosie,

I am still on a mission to find venues that will allow non-religious funerals to take place. So, I am asking if you would consider having such a search facility so that people organising a non-religious funeral can find a venue near them to hold their funeral service before going to the crematorium or cemetery for committal.

I found the Central London Golf Centre, which is a few minutes away from Lambeth Crematorium, will accommodate actual funerals with the coffin. I suspect that it just needs a few venues to say they are prepared to do it which would help to normalise the idea. Also, there are some churches who would allow non-religious funerals as part of their commitment to being a community facility for all. This happened recently when a funeral I was conducting when the family booked the church hall as it was the nearest venue to the cemetery whose chapel is closed. When the vicar realised it was an actual funeral he immediately suggested that we use his church which was so much nicer and needed no further preparations.

 If you did decide to provide a search facility for non-religious funerals venues it could include an invitation to churches who would also allow them. This would be good PR for the churches as a community resource for everyone. I envisage a future when venues will be advertising their suitability as funeral venues as it makes good commercial sense. This would all be part of moving away from the Victorian black traditional funeral ethos.

Rosie responded:   “This is certainly an interesting and valuable concept”  She is running it by her trustees and IT person and will get back to me.

Central london Golf Centre Venue for Funerals

Central london Golf Centre Venue for Funerals

Central London Golf Centre



As funerals are usually held during weekdays there must be many venues that are available to host funeral services which are convenient to crematoria so that a small group of mourners can go on to the crematorium for the committal of the body whilst the others remain at the venue. Obviously, there is an issue of physical access in order to faciliate carrying the coffin into the premises but, other than that, there is no reason why we can’t break social resistance to funerals being part of everyday life, as it was in the past. Of course, if the number of mourners is small the funeral ceremony could be held in people’s homes, gardens and residential homes.

Devonport Guildhall

Devonport Guildhall

I have written to Venues4Funerals Venues 4 Funerals  . Despite the name, they do not list any venues other than crems and cemeteries for funerals and the venues listed  funeral receptions are the very expensive, high-end, wedding ones. It is the affordable option that interests me – the pubs, community centres and ordinary hotels.

The Good Funeral Guide posted Devonport Guildhall as a funeral venue.

There was a discussion The crying need for more funeral venues | The Good

Pembroke Lodge







Pembroke Lodge Belvedere

Pembroke Lodge Belvedere


I sent this email to Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park which was the home of renowned Humanist Bertrand Russell.

I have been a Humanist celebrant for many years and I am on a mission to find I am on a mission to find venues that will allow non-religious funerals to take place. So, I am asking if you would allow a funeral service, with the coffin, to take place before immediate family go to the crematorium for committal.

I have taken weddings, Baby Namings and funeral ‘afters’ at Pembroke Lodge but I am trying to find venues who would be accomodating and allow people to hold the actual funeral service at their premises. Pembroke Lodge would make such a lovely venue for many of us who have frequented Richmond Park and the tea rooms. Pembroke Lodge is, after all, the childhood home of one of our best known Humanists – Bertrand Russell. How fitting it would be that this much loved venue becomes someone’s funeral location.

and received this curt reply.

I am sorry but as we are such a busy venue with daily events and the public catering side we would not be able to assist you with this.

I do hope you find somewhere suitable.

Kind regards


So, that’s a NO TO FUNERALS from Pembroke Lodge.

PLEASE, PLEASE help me with my research on the search for venues local to you that would allow funerals to take place and are affordable and have fun as you go and I would be grateful for you to share any responses you get. I think golf clubs are a good bet and try any suitable local pub. After all they take our money when we are alive so why not one last time after we are dead. That is not too much to ask.

Meanwhile , I will keep you posted.


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