Please note that our ways of working have had to temporarily change while we are in the period of coronavirus lockdown. Please see our “What to Do” page for upto date information.

Spending Wisely

There is a lot of debate taking place currently about the issue of funeral poverty.

People shouldn’t have to get into debt in order to arrange a good funeral, nor should it feel like a confusing process. And yet many people are finding that this is their experience. 

Funeral debt happens for a number of reasons; sometimes it’s because of a belief or expectation that a funeral has to look a particular way in order for it to be respectful.

Other times it’s because the person arranging the funeral did not have clear information about the prices they were going to be charged.

No Expectations

We believe that funerals should reflect the individual, so as far as we’re concerned there are no expectations about what should or shouldn’t be included. And times have changed. Views of what a funeral is, or should be, can vary hugely from the traditional sombre ceremonies that grew out of the Victorian era.

We encourage families and friends to be clear on what it is they need and to look to creatively deliver other aspects of a funeral where possible.

Some of the most beautiful funerals we’ve arranged have included family decorated cardboard coffins instead of an expensive conventional casket, or have been led by the families themselves rather than a vicar or celebrant.

Clear Pricing

We also believe it’s important that people are clear and comfortable with the costs that will be incurred: before incurring them.

No one should ever have to proceed with a funeral relying on the words “Don’t worry about the costs”

Whilst it’s not always possible to have the exact cost at the time of the initial meeting you should expect to have a good estimate of the cost before signing any commitment to appoint your undertaker.

Any costs that are further identified throughout the arrangement of the funeral should be approved by you, and a final amount provided as soon as is practicably possible.

This is why you will find lots of information about different funerals and pricing and other fees on our website. We hope it comes across clearly.

Creative Solutions

Below are some elements of a funeral you might wish to take into account, but perhaps consider doing differently.

  • Coffins – you can get some basic and totally acceptable coffins very cheaply. The amount you spend on a coffin does not reflect the amount you love someone. If you’re looking for something more personal, go for a cardboard coffin: decorate it yourself or invite friends and family to join you. Have a bamboo shroud instead of a coffin, or just buy your own. Find out more in our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Embalming – not necessary in most situations. Make sure it’s not included in a package as “hygienic preparation”. At A Natural Undertaking we will only embalm if expressly asked.
  • Flowers – hand picked from the garden.
  • Celebrant – take control and lead the ceremony yourself. Get everyone involved in saying something. Be brave- it’s not a show. Genuine emotion and passion are just as important as a well constructed eulogy.
  • Orders of Service – most people have access to a computer and a printer. Get a friend with creative flair to help with the design and print.
  • Venue – if you don’t want to be restricted to the time frames within a crematorium you might want to have a service before the cremation. There are often venues you can use that cost very little. A little research is all that’s needed. Here’s some information we’ve produced on different venues.
  • Cars – you can hire a hearse, use your own transport or use ours. Think about whether you really need a limousine.
  • Pallbearers – use family and friends. Use a trolley or coffin bier.
  • Catering – do it yourself. Get everyone to help. Funeral food is a tradition observed differently in different cultures, but we all have it, and for good reason.
  • Newspaper tributes – will the people you need to reach notice these in newspapers? Can you harness the power of social media?

For more advice on keeping funeral costs down take a look at websites such as the Quaker Social Action website.


Anytime on 0121 444 0437


Reviews on Google

A Natural Undertaking
Based on 22 reviews
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Chris Hallmark
Chris Hallmark
08:38 07 Mar 20
Carrie and Fran have built a business that feels genuinely different. They were warm,... friendly and very responsive. They wanted to help us create the funeral that was right for our family, and to remember Dad in our warm and slightly quirky way. They even indulged us with the custard jokes. I cannot recommend them more highly and wish them every success with their alternative take on more
Gillian Washington
Gillian Washington
18:06 29 Jan 20
A Natural Undertaking is an undertakers with a difference. No stuffy offices with men in... black suits. Just lovely helpful and caring people. Lots of choices were available and nothing was too much trouble. We did not feel pressurised or rushed into making decisions. Our whole experience was dealt with total empathy and efficiency. Would highly recommend them. Definitely 5 more
Amanda Smart
Amanda Smart
18:50 20 Jan 20
We were so thankful for all that Carrie, Zed and Fran did to help us through the period... following the devastation of Oliver's death. The sense that they really empathised with the pain of what we were going through and their way of guiding us, while encouraging us to do what was most helpful and most reflected Oliver's life was so empowering. You can't re-do a funeral! It was so important to us that it was 'right' and they made that easier at a time when we were struggling to think clearly. The service they provided was so personal and sensitive. Thank you!read more
James MacLaren
James MacLaren
16:04 11 Dec 19
Carrie, Fran and everyone at A Natural Undertaking were fantastic in arranging my Mum's... funeral. Carrie was keen right from the start to make sure that everything was just so, despite the fact that we were working on a budget. Everything was clear and well explained (in fact, from beginning to end, communication was exemplary). Fran was fantastic in putting together the order or service as well. They communicated with all of the relevant parties, such that everything came together seamlessly. I hope that I never need to, but if I need to arrange a funeral again, I won't hesitate to give them a more
Elizabeth Logan
Elizabeth Logan
06:40 12 Nov 19
I can't speak highly enough of Carrie, Fran and the entire Natural Undertaking team. ... Their compassion and professionalism were outstanding. The funeral and the celebration of life for my Father-in-Law were just what he and the family wanted, we couldn't have asked for better. The Natural Undertaking team were there for us from the start, from their calm reception area to their suggestions for flowers, locations and support with all those little details - they just smoothed the way. I would recommend them in a more
Rachel Gregory
Rachel Gregory
06:45 12 Oct 19
Absolutely wonderful company. Understood our family’s wishes completely. Ethical and... their pricing is incredibly fair. Thank you so much for making a difficult time much easier for more
Rachel Plant
Rachel Plant
11:40 08 Oct 19
From start to finish Carrie, Fran and zed were the most wonderful undertakers we could... have asked for. They were so much more than just funeral directors, they were supportive, respectful and inspiring. Our family had an idea of what we wanted for Holly's funeral and everyone at A Natural Undertaking helped guide us with her wishes. Holly wanted a natural burial and it was in her quirky nature to have a creative and diverse farewell which is exactly what she got. Death and grief is extremely hard especially when a loved one is so young. We felt like we had an opportunity to help others through this process as a result of everything they had to offer us. Our family, our children & friends were all involved (as per our wishes) thanks to the huge effort and organisation of these wonderful people at A Natural Burial. Thank you so much for everything you did for Holly and family. We will hold you in our hearts forever xread more
Lisa Small
Lisa Small
09:19 02 Jul 19
From our first meeting with Fran to the day of our son's funeral, we were treated with... care, empathy, dignity and understanding. The whole team at A Natural Undertaking, Fran, Zed and Carrie, paid attention to the smallest of details in the planning of his funeral, carefully explaining everything to us in a way which was clear but sensitive. Their handling of the arrangements ensured that he had a beautiful and fitting send off. We could not have been given a better level of care, and we would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to give their loved one a unique, individually tailored more
Linda Higgins
Linda Higgins
18:07 06 May 19
We would like to congratulate Fran and Cassie for looking after our dear friend... Joan. From the start to finish the care, kindness and attention to detail was second to non. We were given help and support with all the arrangements and we felt that the stress, of loosing a loved one so suddenly, had been taken off our shoulders. They helped to turn the day into a wonderful tribute to Joan. We would highly recommend this wonderful service!read more
Chris Lee
Chris Lee
15:50 15 Apr 19
The service provided by a Natural Undertaking was perfect. Fran and Carrie advised and... guided us through both the process and the decisions that we needed to make for my father’s funeral with thought and understanding. They advised us what was possible and made constructive suggestions without pressure. They then calmly undertook the organisation of the service itself with calm efficiency despite late inputs from ourselves. The resulting service was both personal and appropriate to say goodbye to my father from myself, our family and his friends. I was specifically appreciated that Carrie found time to discuss in general the workings of the undertaking business which one at other times have little time or inclination to investigate. It certainly helped me during this time. I whole heartedly recommend this more
Jane Arstall
Jane Arstall
17:19 14 Apr 19
Carrie and Fran are amazing! Nothing is too much trouble for them and they go the extra... mile to make sure that people get exactly the funeral they want. We had a big funeral at Cambridge Road Methodist Church and wanted to use a YouTube clip of my husband playing the Birmingham Town Hall organ which had been his special 60th birthday treat. Carrie managed to arrange an audio clip so that everyone heard Mark playing at his own funeral, which made the service really special. I know Mark would have loved the service. Thanks Carrie and Fran - I would recommend you to more
Kamala Kay Mann
Kamala Kay Mann
05:50 09 Apr 19
Carrie and Frances bought a heart centred approach to a very sad and difficult time with... the death of my brother. They organised the funeral in a week and it ran so seemlessly, so smoothly that the image I get when summing up how I feel about their services is a beautiful Swan gently gliding through water. Thier compassion, kindness and ability to listen, guide and respond softens my heart as I write this. Their attention to detail and having everything covered was such a massive weight off the family’s shoulders. We felt completely held. It seems strange to write this but they were a breath of fresh air to what is in essence is a very difficult time. Thank you so much Carrie and Frances - just like Swans gliding through water, you made a very difficult time seem like a heart centred natural undertaking. K Mannread more
Giles Darby
Giles Darby
13:40 19 Feb 19
Professional, sensitive, efficient and compassionate from start to finish. Their... personal, alternative and fresh approach was exactly what we wanted yet without compromising all the finer arrangement details, which were dealt with perfectly. I can’t recommend them highly enough at what is always a difficult more
Mike Abrams
Mike Abrams
17:59 30 Dec 18
A Natural Undertaking were recommended to us following the death of my wife, by a friend... who had used them previously. From our first meeting, we felt we were in good hands with a team that could talk us through the complexities of the arrangements and discuss the range of options available to us in a personal and very caring way. Working together we planned a service that included a number of unique elements that reflected the exceptional individual who sadly we were having to lay to rest. On the day, the arrangements worked perfectly and the feedback from friends and relatives who attended has been very positive. I am so glad we worked with A Natural Undertaking - we received a very personal and caring service and the whole team were a pleasure to deal more
Simon Wilkes
Simon Wilkes
15:16 20 Dec 18
As a family we decided to go forward with a direct cremation and hold our own service... outside a church environment. Even though this was with our fathers wishes it is sometimes easy to think you must follow the 'traditional' route. Fran & Carrie were both supportive in helping us ensure the day was the right mix of sadness and celebration. It was the little caring things which made the difference. So if you want the right service without feeling you are still in the 1950s then Natural Undertaking will provide a first class service whether its a simple option like ours or a full bespoke more
Nerina Villa
Nerina Villa
11:02 20 Sep 18
Right from my first phone call Fran at A Natural Undertaking was amazing. She was kind,... warm and comforting at a time when that is exactly what you need. She gave me wonderful advice and made sure that we were able to create the most wonderful, individual funeral for my mum that still makes me smile when I think of it. They were there at every step of the way with support, advice and practical help. Thank you so more
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Our Prices

Direct Cremation: £995 + cremation fee
Simple Cremation / Burial: £1,695
Creative Funeral: £1,395 plus options

News / Events

Interested in joining us at a Death Cafe? Learn about our news and the events we’re involved with.


Living in these times we will all be faced with decisions and situations that seem unthinkable.

Our newsletter has some resources which can help with

Writing a will
Making decisions about your care
Caring for someone at home who is dying

Navigating grief in our current landscape is even harder than it usually is. I am going to be facilitating some online space on a weekly basis to talk grief and our missing loved ones. For more details and times, see here:

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