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It’s the start of a new decade and an opportunity to look forward to the years ahead.

We look forward to wider regulation of the general funeral profession, especially in regard to funeral planning to offer more protection to the public.

We are hopeful for reform to the process of death certification in England and Wales and to the wider implementation of the changes to certification and general paperwork after a death to offer a simpler and consistent approach.

We anticipate that, like us, people will become more environmentally considerate in their choices for services and products – our industry is beginning to reflect on how it might lead these choices through the products it offers and the guidance it gives. In time, the acceptance of cremation as the main disposal process could be challenged and burial may well become accepted as a more appropriate and less damaging way of disposing of the dead. Currently over three quarters of us are cremated through gas powered facilities that are deemed inefficient and somewhat polluting.

The kind of journeys fulfilled by funeral vehicles is ideal for electric vehicles and we suggest that the traditions of following the hearse and coffin from the residence to the service will largely become a thing of the past.

Like most industries, the funeral profession will require vision and leadership to change – funeral directors have a tendency to maintain tradition and practices against the flow of societal adjustment but this decade will bring a revolution in the way that death is celebrated and the physical remains are disposed of.

For our family the next decade will mean changes too. We may see the next generation of the Walker family coming to join us here at A.B. Walker alongside a new generation of staff dedicated to serving their community. Whatever the next decade brings, we aim to continue to deliver the most professional and considerate care to the families of Berkshire and Oxfordshire.