The Federation, originally named the Federation of Cremation Authorities in Great Britain, was formed at a meeting held at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, on 1st August 1924, and rules were adopted. These rules, as amended from time to time, were entirely redrafted as a Constitution and adopted at the fourteenth Annual Meeting held at Edinburgh on the 28th June 1938.
In 1949, a radical change in the membership of the executive committee occurred in consequence of the increasing influence of municipal authorities in the cremation movement. To improve the benefits to the federation’s members, a sub-committee of Technical Officers was established in the post-war era. The Technical Officers met regularly to consider and advise in the design, construction and operation of crematoria and the development of crematorium equipment and apparatus.
Standards of performance have been devised and informative publications produced of which this Guide to Crematoria and Cremation is the latest. However, the most important document has been the Code of Practice. This Code, first produced in 1945 and periodically updated and revised, is essential in the maintenance of standards at the crematoria and the observance of the Code is an obligation of membership of the Federation.
The Federation’s quarterly journal “Resurgam” was first published in 1958 and continues to enjoy a wide circulation within the cremation movement both in the UK and overseas.
The first Joint Conference between the Federation and the Cremation Society of Great Britain took place in 2007. This event has been held annually attracting professionals and those concerned with the disposal of the dead and the many allied and sensitive matters associated with that service. In 2016, the event was rebadged to reflect the purpose of the annual gathering and was called ‘The Cremation and Burial Communication and Education Event (CBCE)’.
By 1968, it became necessary for an extensive revision of the Federation’s Constitution to be considered to make it more suitable to its substantially increased membership, influence and scope of work in the Cremation Movement. The revised Constitution was adopted at the 44th Annual General Meeting held at Brighton on the 30th September of that year.
To reflect the progressively changing requirements of Member Authorities, the Constitution has been modified on several occasions to enable it to better respond to the needs of its membership. At the Annual General Meeting in Southport in 2003, it was agreed to introduce affiliate membership for organisations involved in the provision of services to Burial and Cremation Authorities leading, in 2006, to a further extensive review of the Federation’s Constitution allowing, amongst other things, full membership of the Federation to Burial Authorities.
Nearly all crematoria in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are represented in the membership of the Federation whose authority on cremation and burial has long been respected nationally. Government Departments continue to consult the Federation on matters affecting the law and practice of cremation and burial which is now recognised as an essential part of public health services.
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