We’ve on a high since the wonderful Death Festival at the Southbank Centre at the end of January. At this we enjoyed offering Death Cafe to 50 people at the Royal Festival Hall. (You can see our write-ups of this here and here if you haven’t already seen them).
Since then we’ve been busy introducing new people to the Death Café concept of tea, cake and conversation about death. We wrote a guide to running your own Death Café, which sparked interest from across the UK and even in America. If you’re even slightly attracted to the idea of setting up a Death Café in your bit of the world we’d advise you to bite the bullet and do it. The Death Cafés we have run are lovely, fun and not too much work. And we’ll help you to do it!
We held our first Death Café outside London in Chester, North West England, on the 17th March. It was attended by 5 people and facilitated by Sue Barsky Reid. As with all the Death Cafés we’ve held to date, it was a profound, moving and memorable occasion. Sue has promised a write-up of the event when her busy schedule allows.
We have 2 further Death Cafes scheduled in the next month. London Faerie is running a Death Café in his East London venue The Pot on Easter Monday 9th April, which will be facilitated by him and Death Café’s great friend Kristie West.
After that we will hold a Death Café on Saturday 5th May from 2 – 4pm at a lovely new venue, the Create Place, in Bethnal Green. This will be facilitated by Sue Barsky Reid. Please get in touch if you’d like to come – places are limited! We'll also be announcing dates for more Death Cafes in the very near future.
In other news, Death Café’s Jon Underwood responded to the report of the UK Commission on Improving Dignity in Care by suggesting that fear of death was perhaps a reason for the poor care that older people sometimes received. A full version of this article was published on the wonderful Good Funeral Guide blog, which resulted in a lively and informative debate. A shorter version was included on the Huffington Post site.
We have also been in touch with Bernard Crettaz, who came up with the idea of Café Mortels in Switzerland. He is very happy that we’re running Death Cafes in the UK and helping to spread the idea. We hope to have a video interview with him for the Death Cafe website this year. This will be filmed and translated by our Anglo-Swiss friend Marianne Hartley.