New crematorium for Berwickshire hamlet

A Berwickshire church that last hosted a service in 2003 is now set to reopen as a crematorium at the beginning of next month.

Houndwood Church will open for cremations at the start of March, and there are also plans for it to be available for any services - of any denomination - that the local community desires.

It is believed that the building is the only one in Britain that houses both a church and a crematorium.

“There has been a lot of intensive restoration work done, over the last two years,” says Mark Lamb, director of the project.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure that the work is sensitive to the building and the existing, working graveyard.

“That goes for the memorial garden that we are working on as well.

“This was given to us by our neighbouring farmer, John Brown. He just wanted to give something back to the community, which is great.

“That’s what it is all about, creating a place where the community can come together. We hope they will visit and make use of it.

Local vicar, Reverend Norman Whyte welcomed the refurbishment.

He said: “It will be good that cremations are now available in Houndwood.

“I’m sure that it will help some families, to take away some of the stress .

“Previously, of course, the nearest crematorium was at Melrose, which is quite a distance from this parish.”