Turn around in your seat at the crematorium in the Berkshire town of Thatcham and you will see a web-cam, fixed to a beam, following the proceedings. It enables anyone who could not make it to the service to follow from afar. The valley of the shadow of death is now being live-streamed.
Demand is growing. The crematorium gets one live-streaming request a week. Obitus, the company that hooked up the system, currently has cameras in 25 locations, charging Â£2,500 ($3,245) to install and manage the technology.
Forty years ago, “virtually every funeral was the same,” says Paul Allcock, president of the national funeral directors’ society””from the cortege to the Church of England rites. Nothing like the outdoorsy family that inquired this week about using a camper van as a hearse””typical, says Mr Allcock, of a customer base that is less religious, more diverse, and keen to personalise their departure.