Mid-England Barrow connect with community

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Sarah Smart at the Mid-England Barrow

Connecting with your local community is a key part of running a business in the funeral sector, and for Sarah Smart, co-owner of Mid-England Barrow in deepest rural Oxfordshire, 2021 has been all about … charity coffee mornings.

Based on ancient burial mounds, and one of only five specially built barrows across the country, Mid England Barrow is a modern-day Round Barrow for the storage of cremation ashes as an alternative to natural and woodland Burial.

And, as we found when we visited a couple of months back, it does genuinely provides “an unexplainable aura” which gives “an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and reflection”.

Hidden lighting brings out the beauty of Mid-England barrow's roof
Hidden lighting brings out the beauty of Mid-England barrow’s roof

Sarah and her farmer partner Richard are keen for the Barrow to be as accessible as possible for families, and in order to give people the chance to explore it at their leisure and raise funds for excellent local and national charities, they have been hosting coffee mornings throughout the last year, as well as regular open days.

A fully equipped ‘safari tent’ with adjoining kitchen and WC enables them to offer people the opportunity to hold wakes, funerals, ceremonies and celebrations adjacent to the Barrow.

Sarah has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme, and in response to the pandemic the couple have built a traditional cairn along the path to the barrow, as a memorial to those lost to Covid.

“We were inspired to build it after seeing cairns whilst on holiday in Scotland a few years ago, and wanted a fitting tribute to the lives lost to Covid-19, not only in our three nearest villages, our three nearby counties, but indeed, everyone affected throughout the entire world,”explains Sarah.

Niches in the barrow – which has three chambers: willow, yew and oak – are available for 1,10, 25, 50 or 99 years, and family cairns are also available.

Find out more at www.mid-englandbarrow.co.uk, by emailing info@mid-englandbarrow.co.uk or by calling 07791 807970.