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Activities, art, games, interaction 

Date: Saturday 11th May 2024 12pm - 5pm

Cambridge City Crematorium
Bar Hill exit of the A14

Sphere on Spiral Stairs

Planned activities will include:

West Chapel all day

Play a life size game of "Operation"

Handle and learn about human bones

See videos of the gorgeous Sacred Stones Barrow

Have a go at some art projects with Lisa Temple-Cox

Chat about donating your body to science​ to teach medical students

Meet the new cycle hearse from Woodland Wishes

Also try Woodland Wishes' cardboard coffin out for size

Play the "Gravestones and Dry Bones" boardgame with Cally Trench

Learn how to construct a face on a skull with Sue Jones

Come and chat with archaeologists, osteologists, celebrants and artists

Discuss coffins with Jenny Barnish, the Merry Mourning Widow

Ask any questions you've always wanted to ask about death!

East Chapel actvities

12 noon - Reflect on our hopes, fears and beliefs around the subject of our own death with celebrant Christianne Heal.

12:30pm - Folk Music from Mike Ruff - come to be entertained!

1:15pm - Erica Buist, author of ‘This Party’s Dead’  will attend the day and share videos and anecdotes from her visits to Death Festivals worldwide.

Tickets for the Erica Buist's talk available here

2:15pm - Ann Wise (Art Historian), For Eternity and Beyond - a chat about church memorials.
Due to demand we are now ticketing this event too - book here

3:00pm - More music from Mike Ruff

3:45pm - "They say never work with animals or children" (unless you're ok with death). Pete the Vet and Jo the soul midwife talk about pets dying, what we can do and how we can cope.

Tour behind the scenes of the crematorium - numbers limited!

Tickets for crematorium tour at 12pm-1pm

Tickets for crematorium tour at   2pm-3pm

Tickets for crematorium tour at   4pm-5pm

Dark Curved Shapes
More about Erica Buist

"What if we responded to death... by throwing a party?

By the time Erica Buist’s father-in-law Chris was discovered, upstairs in his bed, his book resting on his chest, he had been dead for over a week. She searched for answers (the artery-clogging cheeses in his fridge?) and tried to reason with herself (does daughter-in-law even feature in the grief hierarchy?) and eventually landed on an inevitable, uncomfortable truth: everybody dies.

With Mexico’s Day of the Dead festivities as a starting point, Erica decided to confront death head-on by visiting seven death festivals around the world – one for every day they didn’t find Chris. From Mexico to Nepal, Sicily, Thailand, Madagascar, Japan and finally Indonesia – with a stopover in New Orleans, where the dead outnumber the living ten to one – Erica searched for the answers to both fundamental and unexpected questions around death anxiety." Tickets for this talk are available soon

Tickets for the Erica Buist's talk available here


Mike Ruff - Dealing With Death

Death in all its forms is often celebrated in music, whether choosing music for the funeral or wake, writing a masterpiece in someone’s memory, right through to ghostly tales or humorous verses.Folk Music is strong on death, anything from shipwrecks to cold blooded murder, so much so that in some folk clubs it is not unknown for a singer to apologise for a “low body count” within a song!


For this event Mike will be performing songs from a wide repertoire that look at death in different ways with hopefully something for everyone and more than a few light hearted moments amidst the tragedy. There will be English and Irish Folk Songs, Tudor and Victorian songs and quite a few more.


Mike Ruff is a noted folk musician, dance teacher and author renowned for Barn Dances and Maypoles as well concerts and talks. Successful bands and groups have included Quicksilver, Allcock and Brown and the mAy team. In recent years he has recorded a CD of songs for the Farmland Museum (Princess Anne has a copy!), performed Music Hall and run dance workshops at the Cambridge Museum of Technology. Also, during lockdown he produced a webinar linking Folk Music and Song to that Museum’s collections of Print Machinery, Steam Engines and Audio Technology.


Come to be entertained. Expect the unexpected and a few laughs along the way

Mike Ruff music man - photo by Al Rogers
Dark Curved Shapes

Refreshments of tea, coffee, cakes and snacks for sale onsite. With themed chocolates and funeral biscuits too!

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This Event  is kindly sponsored by Sacred Stones

Death turns into life, fear becomes reflection, loss transforms into stories and grief journeys to a place of peace. Our carefully crafted barrows provide you with a place of beauty and tranquillity in the English countryside. Somewhere your life is celebrated, your ashes laid to rest, and your loved ones have time to reflect, heal and come to terms with their loss.​

Our thanks to the Cambridge City Crematorium as our brilliant hosts once again.
The site has plenty of parking. The event is free entry. Some workshops and tours need pre-booking.

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