David C Rivett Family Funeral Directors

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by David C Rivett Family Funeral Directors's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from David C Rivett Family Funeral Directors is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Funeral Director David Rivett
A family business through
and through
Although Yeovil-based David C Rivett Family Funeral
Directors has been operating for 30 years, David Rivett’s
involvement in the local funeral sector dates back to
the 1960s. The company, according to David, prides itself on
its personal, familial touch, offering the direct assistance of a
member of the Rivett family to anybody who walks through
the door. While the firm has just one office branch, it covers an
impressive area across Yeovil and beyond. Here David discusses
the firm’s high standards in greater detail.
I’ve always worked in funerals and always wanted my own business, which we
opened in 1989. Our hard work and long hours paid off and we soon became
successful. Our two sons joined us, enabling us to offer an even better service. We
moved in 1998 to our new and superior premises in Yeovil, Somerset, with our
office refurbished again this year.
Our work is carrying out funerals. Our days are never routine and are often based on
people appointing us on short notice. This includes the removal from hospital, or
the deceased’s own home or nursing home, and we are available 24 hours aday.
We meet with those legally entitled to arrange funerals at our office, which has an
arranging room presented as a normal sitting room to help put bereaved people
at ease. We also arrange in clients’ own homes. We ensure that we go through all
their wishes in terms of the type of funeral required.
Thereafter, we liaise with multiple agencies, from the crematorium to clergy and
provide advice on all aspects. Following the collection of the deceased, we place
»Funeral Directors: David Rivett,
sons James and Christopher
Rivett and wife Sandra Rivett
»Founded in 1989
»Located in Yeovil
»Services: Funeral directors
»No. of employees: 4, plus 6
David C Rivett Family
Funeral Directors
Highlighting best practice
them in the coffin, dressing them in
the clothing we have been provided
with or gowns we offer. Visits to our
chapel of rest are welcome at any
time. We understand that funerals are
not nine until five.
Treating clients as we would
wish to be treated
We aim to give our clients the best
service possible – compassionate and
friendly, but also professional. This
requires great empathy. Dealing with
clients saying farewell to loved ones
following illness or tragedy takes
Many of our clients are elderly
themselves when arranging their
parent’s funeral, because life
expectancy is so much longer now.
Our philosophy is to treat our clients as
we would wish to be treated ourselves.
We are sympathetic but try to keep
them upbeat. We need to allow
them to make the right decisions and
we have to maintain a professional
distance in order to assist them. We
have declined offers of expansion
as we feel this detracts from the
dedicated service we provide – a family
member answers the telephone, day
We are also installing appropriate
mortuary facilities to facilitate the
increasing number of bariatric clients.
Changes in services
Funerals have changed since we
started our business some decades
ago. Formerly, we contacted the local
vicar to conduct the service, even if the
family were not church attenders, and
a traditional service of prayers, hymns
and solemn music with a religious
eulogy was performed. This type of
service is disappearing fast.
Funerals are now events far more
tailored to the individual. This ranges
from musical content to using a
non-religious officiant who will give
a eulogy on the life of the deceased.
Family members will read poems – one
included at the Queen Mother’s funeral
is a favourite. The music will reflect the
taste of the deceased or of the family,
from Glenn Miller to Ed Sheeran.
Many people want the funeral to be a
celebration of life instead of a mournful
event. We have even had people
dressed in Stormtrooper costumes.
Additionally, family breakdown
following divorce or separation can
make a funeral only more complicated
and fraught. Trying to book cohesive
arrangements when a family is
estranged is by no means easy.
Final problems
GPs have stopped out of hours calls
despite the fact that many deaths
occur at these times. In order to
complete cremation forms a GP must
have seen the deceased within a
specific period of time by law. We have
encountered many deceased who have
never seen their current GP, which
creates legal problems and is a great
effort to overcome.
Providing a dedicated
service and direct
assistance to everyone
who walks through the
philosophy is
to treat our
clients as we
would wish to
be treated
Elderly people are often placed into
nursing homes out of area due to lack
of spaces locally. We are then forced
to take the deceased in a vehicle, the
doctor viewing the deceased in the
surgery car park. We believe this is
immensely disrespectful.
The media has given the funeral
profession bad press recently, which
we firmly refute. We work long hours
in a difficult job. We have all the usual
business overheads plus vehicles. If our
telephone rings on Christmas morning
to remove a deceased, we attend,
leaving family festivities. The high
cost of funerals has been criticised, as
many people are in funeral poverty. It
is now possible for hospitals or local
authorities to organise a simple funeral
at no cost to the family.
Few business models give credit
without performing checks on the
people who just walk into their office.
However, we request no deposit.
Thankfully we rarely have difficulties
with payment. The media must realise
funeral costs are in two parts: our
fees plus those that we pay to outside
agencies, such as the crematorium. It
may be many months before we are
paid, at times even years.
Disposal funerals are a recent
innovation – the deceased is collected,
then taken to a crematorium, often
straight from hospital. No service is
performed. Many companies now offer
this very basic service.
Without a trustee arrangement, funeral
directors cannot accept prepayment funds
themselves. As members of the National
Association of Funeral Directors we offer
their plans looked after by Ecclesiastical
Services. This fully protects our clients.
Some financial firms are offering pre-
payment plans without having any
connection to the funeral industry.
When a funeral is needed, they ring
around to find someone to carry
out the service very cheaply, thereby
leaving a generous sum for themselves.
We hope future government legislation
may stop this practice and only allow
funeral plans to be issued in liaison
with a funeral company.
We are disappointed that tax changes
have meant that dividends are capped
at £2,000 per annum tax free. The
self-employed need good incentives
and this was a negative move from the
government for them.
Work we can be proud of
We are happy to continue with our
work, which we find both challenging
and deeply rewarding. We receive
many thank-you cards advising that
we made a difficult time far easier –
we lessened stress by supporting the
family and by always being available.
We aim for very high standards; our
deceased are cared for with the utmost
respect and dignity by all our family.
Many funeral businesses are part of large
groups, but we are often appointed
because we are a familybusiness.
People want a personal service, which
is what they receive from us. It would
amuse many to know that the funeral
industry has stayed very old-fashioned,
still dealing with handwritten forms
and imperial measurements. We are
proud of the intimate business that
we have grown over the years. When
clients come back to us, time and
again, we feel deeply privileged.
Funerals are
now events
far more
tailored to the
Based in the heart of


This article was sponsored by David C Rivett Family Funeral Directors. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development