Merstow Green Funeral Home - Our Story
My name is Philip Tomlins and I am the former proprietor of Merstow Green Funeral Home.
The business that was started in 2007 by my colleague, Susan Morton, and I rapidly established itself as the predominant funeral directing business in the region. Serving the communities of The Vale of Evesham and the North Cotswolds. The success of the business should in no small way be attributed to the dedication and the professionalism of our staff.
Our decision to sell the funeral directing business wasn’t an easy one to make, but having worked in the funeral profession for nearly 40 years since leaving school. I felt that now was the time for me to pursue other interests.
I wanted to travel more. and I wanted to spend more time with my family. At the time, Sue and I may not have known very much about funeral partners, but I have known Sam Kershaw for a number of years. I know him to be a man of integrity. I contacted Sam and an agreement was made in principle for Funeral Partners to purchase Merstow Green Funeral Home.
The process of agreeing to sell the business to Funeral Partners was more protracted and onerous than we had anticipated, taking about 12 months in total. Post-acquisition there were new procedures that needed to be put into place, new mortuary and office procedures needed to be implemented, and these were carefully explained to us.
Essentially, however, the business remains unchanged. We carry out funerals in the way that we always have. We serve the same community and we work in the same way. We’ve been very pleased that funeral partners have been prepared to invest further in Merstow Green Funeral Home, both in the vehicles and also the building of a new garage for us. We probably couldn’t have afforded to do this on our own.
Now being part of a larger organisation, being part of Funeral Partners, has been a great help. Certainly over the last 12 months in that we’ve received a lot of support on how to manage the new COVID restrictions. And also with regards to the new CNA report, we would have struggled on our own, but being part of a larger organisation, we found this to be an enormous support.
They have been incredibly respectful of our identity. We have stayed pretty much the same and we operate in the same way that we always have. The Funeral Partners ethos of putting the interests of bereaved families before all other things particularly resonated with us. We were enormously impressed. I continue to do that which I’m best at, arrange and direct funerals, but I don’t have the pressure of running the business anymore.
I’m able to spend more time with my family and to travel more, I’m not on call anymore, I sleep more soundly. We actually feel really proud now to be a part of Funeral Partners. And we tell people that we are Funeral Partners whenever we have the opportunity, it means it means a lot to the people who work here to be part of this organisation.
My decision to sell Merstow Green Funeral Home to Funeral Partners is the best business decision that I have made, and to anyone potentially contemplating the sale of their business, I would heartily recommend that they contact Funeral Partners first.